NEF defends Hyde Park store funding

WEB_PHOTO_LouisVuiton_03072013

Stock image: Christmas lights illuminate a window of the Louis Vuiton department store on the Avenue des Champs-lyses in Paris, on November 23, 2012.

Stock image: Christmas lights illuminate a window of the Louis Vuiton department store on the Avenue des Champs-lyses in Paris, on November 23, 2012.

WEB_PHOTO_LouisVuiton_03072013

Stock image: Christmas lights illuminate a window of the Louis Vuiton department store on the Avenue des Champs-lyses in Paris, on November 23, 2012.

Stock image: Christmas lights illuminate a window of the Louis Vuiton department store on the Avenue des Champs-lyses in Paris, on November 23, 2012.

*This article has been updated

JOHANNESBURG - The National Empowerment Fund has come under fire for giving a multimillion-rand loan to Ndalo Luxury Ventures, for a store at the Hyde Park Shopping Centre.

The designer store, which opened its doors last week, is co-owned by magazine publisher Khanyi Dhlomo, her mother Venetia, businesswoman Judy Dlamini and the NEF.

The Sunday World, who first reported on the windfall, said Dhlomo came "under fire for supposedly using her political and business clout to receive funding of more than R34-million from a government entity."

Widespread criticism has posed the question of whether the funding is a case of empowering the already empowered.

Thando Mhlambiso, the chairperson of the board of the National Empowerment Fund, spoke to eNCA where he said he understood the frustration of critics, but Dhlomo had a tough time rallying investors from the private sector for her store.

*Watch his full interview in the gallery above.