Parliament hears plight of black business
Share this article:
Johannesburg - Businessman Kholofelo Maponya, of Matome Maponya Investment (MMI), has told Parliament's standing committee on finance that black businesses are often discriminated against when seeking financial backing for business ventures.
Maponya was speaking on Wednesday during a presentation in Parliament on matters regarding the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and several businesses, including Sekunjalo Investment Holdings.
Maponya is suing the PIC for R45 million. The matter is before the courts.
He had previously raised numerous issues with how the Mpati commission, which was investigating issues at the PIC, left him without an opportunity to answer numerous accusations.
In 2019, the Mpati commission maintained that the PIC was over-invested in MMI.
Maponya said black businesses sought correction in how they were viewed when they sought funding opportunities.
"We are looking at PIC, and we do not give up hope, as an instrument that will be used to enable black business and participation by black business that is meaningful.
"When we speak we are taken as assertive and not taken as arrogant blacks. We are not taken as those blacks who are not in their place who should be put in their rightful place. This is what we saw happen to us once we were in the PIC and were funded.
“We seek correction and we seek that we proceed into future dealings and have more room for other black entrepreneurs. We want to see a platform where we are able to utilise social funds for social good.”
He said when black businesses approached financial institutions, including the PIC, they were often required to take on white established national tenants. He said this would disadvantage smaller black businesses.
"I left developing shopping centres because whenever I developed a shopping centre when asked to obtain finance, even at PIC, I would have to bring national tenants, big white corporates companies to come to replace Mr Tshabalala with his butchery," Maponya said.
The businessman said he wants a national dialogue about the plight of entrepreneurs at the hands of the PIC.