Businesswoman Khanyi Dhlomo will have to go back to the drawing board and change Luminance’s brand catalogue almost entirely if she takes Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies’ words to heart.
On Thursday, Davies told Parliament’s trade and industry portfolio committee that he had issued an order to departmental agencies not to support initiatives aimed at importing finished goods.
Instead, he asked them to fund locally manufactured products in a bid to aid job-creation initiatives.
His directive came in response to the controversy sparked by the National Empowerment Fund’s decision to approve a R34 million loan to Dhlomo’s Luminance boutique.
The store sells mainly imported luxury brands, with the exception of its in-house label and some local designers.
Its website says more stores are planned for the country and “key African markets”.
Davies reportedly told Parliament that agencies needed the green light from the department if they did not use local suppliers.
“Where agencies provide support directly to private enterprises, agencies should actively encourage these enterprises to procure locally.
“Enterprises may also be referred to the industrial procurement unit at the department to find local suppliers,” he was quoted as saying by financial daily Business Day.
Dhlomo did not reply to an email from City Press yesterday.
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