The government had accepted the refusal by multinational car companies to cede part of their South African subsidiaries to local empowerment partners, in favour of a R3.5bn venture capital fund, BMW SA CEO Tim Abbott said on Friday. Overseas boardrooms at companies such as BMW, Toyota and Ford still had to officially approve the plan, which would help develop black-owned dealerships and components suppliers, he said, but there was general agreement it was the best way to help local vehicle manufacturers achieve the broad-based black economic empowerment levels required to access future investment incentives. The government has frequently expressed frustration at the low level of black involvement in the industry. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director-general Lionel October said on Sunday there had been talks with multinationals over the past few months on an alternative for companies that would not implement direct employment equity by transferring 25% ownership to black s...

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