NEF loans worth millions written off

The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) had to write off R290 million worth of non-performing loans last year, more than double the previous year’s amount.

The NEF, which wrote off R105 million in loans in 2011, stated in its annual report presented to Parliament yesterday that “tough economic times” had impacted upon “distressed business”, according to Business Day newspaper.

“Specific to this are investments that have been restructured. A significant portion of these investments are in the construction sector,” indicated the report.

Write-offs represented 18.6% of the total loans portfolio and 20% of the entire invested portfolio, above the targeted 15%.

The fund had total assets of R5.4 billion and was looking to government for recapitalisation.

In July, Trade and Industry Minster Rob Davies called for a report into the R34.1 million funding of Hyde Park boutique Luminance by the NEF.

Read: There will never be another Luminance

He said he wanted to determine whether the funding of Luminance was in line with the NEF’s mandate and whether there was a need to strengthen that mandate.


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