Why did the DTI give R7 million to the Black Business Council?

In a reply to a DA parliamentary question, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has revealed that it has given R7 million to the Black Business Council (BBC) over the last three years.
In doing so, the DTI has been funding an organisation that has openly attacked the Treasury and Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and which is closely connected to the Guptas.
This R7 million payment was not included in the DTI’s budget, and it is not clear what the BBC has delivered for this money, if anything, or what competitive process was followed before it was paid.
The DTI says this money was paid for “advocacy” relating to the Black Industrialists Programme.
In fact, it looks like the DTI is funding a dodgy Treasury opponent and Gupta proxy.
It is suspicious, at best, and possibly illegal for the DTI to fund an organisation with public funds, with no clear deliverables or requirements in return for the money, with no audit trail of the money, and with seemingly no competitive process followed in awarding the money.
It is also unacceptable for one government department – the DTI – to be funding an organisation which is at the forefront of sustained attacks on another government department – the Treasury.
The DA will ask the Minister of Trade and Industry for a full explanation of this payment, including:
• who requested it;
• is a contract in place, and what the BBC has delivered;
• what competitive, open process was followed in awarding it;
• whether the use of the money has been audited by the Department or by the Auditor General.
Minister Gordhan has previously accused the Black Business Council of trying to capture the Treasury, and of only representing the interests of the Gupta family.
The BBC also openly supported the charging of Minister Gordhan, and is closely connected to Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi, who is himself close to the Gupta family.
The BBC has also been mired in controversy.
Its current head, Ms Danisa Baloyi, was dismissed as an ABSA director for her involvement in the Fidentia scandal and has been exposed as having a fake PHD.
The DA will continue to push for openness and transparency to ensure that the public purse is not abused for a moment longer.

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