Sekunjalo calls on PIC to continue its support for AYO in the interest of transformation

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CAPE TOWN – Sekunjalo spokesperson Mandla Mbusi called on the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to continue support AYO Technology Solutions as in alignment with South African government economic transformation policies.

Mbusi said yesterday that the PIC should continue to make good on South Africa’s democratic charter to support real economic transformation.

As such he further said, Sekunjalo was the major shareholder in African Equity Empowerment Investment (AEEI), in turn, a major shareholder in AYO. “As such, the company holds firm to the belief that the PIC should cease its anti-transformational challenges of AYO in order to allow the company to trade and operate in a free and fair manner, in line with South Africa’s desire to economically emancipate black-owned and black-managed businesses.”

Mbusi emphasised that AYO has been given a clean audit and has not been found to have been in breach of any rules and regulations. Furthermore, the company has also been cleared in terms of the PIC Commission of Inquiry of 2019 and the AYO has complied fully.

The company has also been extensively reviewed by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), remains on the bourse and in fact, now has more than R5 billion in assets. Mbusi pointed out that AYO was also a highly profitable ICT business that employs more than 1 000 highly skilled employees. It is growing at a time when many organisations are shrinking. The company continues to grow its value – to shareholders and to the country.

“AYO is an example of a successful black economic empowerment company in South Africa – being listed on the JSE, and one the largest black-owned and managed ICT companies in the country. AYO is in fact, a 26-year old investment group that exemplifies the transition from juridical apartheid to constitutional democracy and economic inclusion.  It should, therefore, be lauded not undermined – by Government and the media and the like,” he said.

In fact AYO meet the needs of the transformation policies adopted at  the 54th ANC national conference, the ruling party called to adopt an economic and development policy that has since come to be known as the Radical Economic Transformation program (RET). Those policies include, Economic and Social Development polices such as strengthening black economic empowerment.

Mbusi expressed shock that government institutions, such as the PIC, could be used to undermine companies such as AYO and their significant contribution to the economy of the country. “We are also gravely disappointed when government officials appear to wilfully destroy what the policy intended to do.”

Mbusi cited interference and manipulation as good example especially when you look, look n the bizarre instance when the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) – a body that registers companies, licences business rescue practitioners, and monitors compliance with financial reporting standards, among other things – issued an order to the PIC to recoup its R4.3bn investment into AYO.

Having no jurisdiction in this matter whatsoever, the order was subsequently declared unlawful by the Pretoria High Court and dismissed with costs

Mbusi views and continues to see this, as a series of orchestrated disinformation campaigns around AYO and Sekunjalo itself.

“This includes a protracted media propaganda crusade, which led to another Sekunjalo associated company, Sagarmatha, being prevented from listing and therefore prohibited from contributing to South African and continental economic growth.

“The eagerness at which the disinformation is adopted by certain publishers and several individual journalists has become a fast spreading virus that has infiltrated itself – everywhere.  The result has been a systematic erosion of the AYO share price and marketplace confidence,” he said.

Mbusi said this type of highly questionable behaviour was a direct threat to black economic participation, inclusion and a free and fair democratic South Africa. It also assumes that South Africans are ignorant and unable to distinguish fact from fiction.

“Considering no adverse findings have been found against AYO, it is time for the company to be supported by the very policies that were created to enhance economic transformation so it can flourish,” said Mbusi.

This story first appeared in the Business Report Online