KZNs horse racing and betting industry would now be required to have at least a 26 percent black partnership. Picture: Gallo Images

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal’s horse racing and betting industry would now be required to have at least 26-percent black partnerships so as to transform the multibillion-rand industry, according to new guidelines for the industry from the provincial gambling and betting board.

The guidelines were presented to bookmakers, route operators and Gold Circle on Monday during a gaming and betting board meeting.

Board chairwoman Sibusisiwe Ngubane said that the industry had been “dominated by white business people…, and this goes against the bigger vision of our government to re-distribute wealth”.

The black partnerships would promote black participation in the horse racing and betting industry. The partners had to be citizens of KZN and reflective of its demographics, she said.

The initiative was a business initiative to support economic development in the province, Ngubane said.

“Black partners will have to buy those shares, we are not saying white business should give their shares away for free,” she said.

The transformation guidelines had been deduced from Statistics SA’s figures on demographics for the province. More than 80 licensees in the betting industry were up for renewal at the end of the year, she said.

“This is a very lucrative industry involving hundreds of millions of rand… we want to see strong participation from black citizens of the province.”

Part of the criteria in re-issuing licences would be based on the transformation guidelines. Failure to heed them would result in the board either declining the application or attaching conditions which would require commitments from the licence holder to transform within a stipulated period in order to have access to funding.

The board would monitor attempts at fronting and, if evidence of it was found, it would act “decisively without fear or favour”.

The board also announced a partnership with Ithala Development Finance Corporation to enable qualifying black partners to have access to funding. - The Mercury