MEC Humphrey Mmemezi opens businesses owned by foreign nationals in Freedom Park
24 Feb 2011
Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi on Saturday, 19 February 2011 told the residents of Freedom Park, south of Johannesburg, that neither community based groups or political organisations have a right to close businesses but government.
The MEC was reacting to calls by some members of this township that businesses owned by foreign nationals should be reopened. Addressing this community, however, the MEC said there needs to an urgent assessment of the application by-laws with regards to the operation of businesses in the townships.
The MEC’s decision to reopen spazas (tuck shops) owned by foreign business people follows a public meeting wherein some members of the community strongly urged the MEC to consider reopening the spazas. But then the MEC swiftly called on the foreign nationals to respect by-laws and other regulations that govern businesses run from residential areas.
He said there would be inspectors to constantly check that people adhere to these regulations. And those that transgress would be dealt with by the full might of the law.
In the meantime, the task team which was appointed by the MEC will continue to investigate amongst others the issues of the legality of documents to operate businesses, the occupation of RDP houses and whether there was proper rezoning from the municipalities before the building of shops.
“We have rules in this country. Everybody must respect the laws of this country, both locals and foreign nationals. People can’t do as they please,” Mmemezi said. He then condemned the violence that led to the closure of foreign owned businesses. The MEC urged the community to report acts of violence to the police and also warned criminals who extort money from foreign nationals claiming that they’ll protect their businesses, to refrain from these acts of criminality.
The MEC Humphrey encouraged the local leadership, affected business owners and the community to continue exploring ways to work together.
For more information contact:
Cell: 079 897 2240
Cell: 083 602 5652
Source: Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing
Issued by: Gauteng Local Government and Housing
24 Feb 2011
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