The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has still not been recapitalised despite repeated promises by the government, which has rendered it unable to respond to the huge demand for financial assistance by black businesses. NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa noted in the NEF annual report for 2017-2018 tabled in parliament on Monday that during the year, more than 1,400 black businesses had approached the NEF for more than R10.6bn to fund start-ups, expansions and the acquisition of untransformed businesses. This was double the volume of transactions that the fund had to assess a year earlier. "Although over 50% of the value was declined at screening stage, transactions worth about R5bn went further in the approval processes and, in most instances, the NEF had to refer these entrepreneurs to other potential funders due to limited capital available for investment," Mthethwa said. The NEF had cash of R1.1bn at the end of March but only R94m of that was uncommitted and available for new transaction...

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