Gauteng premier David Makhura has announced the implementation of a drive to shut down illegally operating foreign-owned businesses in townships, which he claims are threatening local entrepreneurs.
The township economy has taken centre stage in Makhura’s state of the province address, which he delivered at the Gauteng Legislature on Monday.
Makhura lamented the mushrooming of unlawfully operated businesses in Gauteng townships as a major crisis that will require the province to act boldly and enforce its bylaws and trading regulations.
“This year I will lead the inspection, in all townships, of any businesses operating illegally and we are going to shut them down. We are going to shut them down because they are undermine our work on the township economy,” Makhura said.
During his address he also announced achievements in growing Gauteng’s township economy, which included large increases in government procurement from township businesses over a three-year period.
Between 2014 and 2017 public procurement on township enterprises increased from R600 million to R17-billion, Makhura said.
The number of township businesses working with government also increased from 642 in 2014 to 4182 in 2017.
Makhura said plans were also afoot to establish a provincial state bank “which must focus on funding of SMME [Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises], township enterprises, women and youth owned businesses”.
He said the province would also focus heavily on the revitalisation of townships to ensure not only better working spaces, but also better living and learning environments as well.
“I dream of townships being spaces where there is a vibrant culture and dynamic local economies underpinned by state of the art infrastructure,” Makhura said.
“For township residents the new dawn must reflect a major facelift of the infrastructure in their areas as well as the look and feel of their own townships. This has to happen as part of our renewal and revitalisation programme”.