ATM calls for clarity on Ramaphosa's 'misleading' Oppenheimer comments

ATM calls for clarity on Ramaphosa's 'misleading' Oppenheimer comments

- The African Transformation Movement has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to clarify 'misleading' information

- The political party demands that Ramaphosa should discuss the donations made by the Oppenheimer and Rupert families

- The Solidarity Fund is not playing out how he said it would and ATM wants answers

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The African Transformation Movement has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of lying to South Africa.

This comes after the president indicated that the Solidarity Fund would be chaired by Gloria Serobe after pledges from both the Rupert and Oppenheimer families of R1 billion each.

The fund was created to help Mzansi in the battle against the coronavirus, but the ATM has released a statement on what it feels is lies:

“The ATM was very pleased when during your address to the Nation on 21 March you made mention of the Solidarity Fund and how the social partners were supportive of it to assist small businesses in distress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ATM was rather taken aback when media reports attributed to the Rupert and Oppenheimer families made announcements that were in conflict with what you said."

READ ALSO: Explainer: R1 billion Oppenheimer fund to start helping SA businesses

The party pointed out that, instead of Serobe chairing the fund as suggested, the tune had changed:

“Contrary to your announcement that Ms Gloria Serobe would be chairing the Solidarity Fund where all the monies would be administered, Business Partners, under the leadership of Mr Biermann, has announced instead that it has been appointed to manage the R1 billion of the Rupert family, while Nedbank has also announced that it would be managing the other R1 billion from the Oppenheimer family."

The divide between the help offered to small versus big businesses was also mentioned by the party:

“Furthermore Mr Biermann announced that whereas some of the money would be grant funding to small businesses, the other portion would be for loan funding for big businesses. At this point it’s not clear what the split would be between the grants to small businesses and loans to big businesses. Nedbank has also announced that this fund would be used for loans to SMMEs including their own SMME clients.”

The ATM raised concerns that the move was aimed at helping the families instead of businesses:

“ATM is concerned and disappointed that what we thought was goodwill from the social partners is in fact a cold, calculated and cunning business decision that may further burden small businesses instead of giving them a lifeline. Furthermore, Mr President, could you please clarify the tax treatment that would be applicable to both the Rupert and Oppenheimer families as regards their R1 billion each pledge/donation/grant.”

The party warned that this unclear information could serve to erode 'the trust, faith and confidence' SA has in the president:

“How does the nation put its full trust and confidence in your leadership if such contradicting statements play out in public? We trust that at your next address to the nation you will apologise and clarify these glaring discrepancies.” reported that the South African Future Trust had been established by the Oppenheimer family and intended to provide loans to qualifying businesses.

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