PIC has funded much less black-owned businesses than white - Dr Iqbal Survé
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Cape Town - Sekunjalo Investment Holdings chairman Dr Iqbal Survé has told Parliament the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has failed to invest in black businesses, having funded just over 1% of black-owned companies.
Survé was addressing Parliament's standing committee on finance on Wednesday as part of a presentation by black businesses on the PIC and the Mpati Commission.
The PIC has invested in three of Sekunjalo group's over 80 investments, Survé told the committee.
Some of the investments include Independent Media and AYO Technology Solutions.
Survé maintained many of Sekunjalo's detractors had sought to portray the PIC was over-invested in the Sekunjalo group, but contrary to reports, the PIC largely under funded black businesses.
The PIC has invested over R1.6 trillion in 98.5% of white-owned companies and just over 1% in black-owned businesses, according to the Sekunjalo chairman. Survé said because of this, there were few black businesses on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
“There has been a failure of the PIC to invest in black companies on the stock exchange, and that explains why there are so few black companies on the stock exchange,” he said.
The Mpati Commission, which was tasked with investigating allegations of corruption at the PIC, had been overly invested in only probing black businesses and did not investigate investments by the PIC in white companies.
According to Survé, the PIC had lost over R200 billion in investments in white-owned companies, such as EOH, Times Media and Steinhoff.
“It is quite clear our company was a target under the Mpati Commission,” he said.
Survé highlighted that Sekunjalo has existed for over 25 years and has over 10 000 employees and over 100 000 dependants. Sekunjalo was one of the few black companies to make it onto the JSE and enter the fishery industry. The group had contributed over R8 billion in taxes over the years.
He added the entrance by the investment holdings company unto certain industries posed a threat to a few individuals.
The group has been self-funding for 15 years with no bank lending, Survé said.
The negative and unfounded accusation against the Sekunjalo group put the lives of employees and their dependants at risk, he told the committee.