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South Africa Government

10/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2021 02:16

Parliament condemns burning of minibus taxis and small businesses in Gqeberha

Committee Chairperson condemns burning of minibus taxis and small businesses in Gqeberha and calls on leaders to seek solutions

The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, Mr Mandla Rayi, has raised concerns over reported incidents of the burning of minibus taxis and small businesses in Gqeberha.

Mr Rayi said the committee condemns any act of violence directed either at the minibus taxi operators, or at Somali owned spaza shops.

"The reported violence should not occur and certainly our people should not allow to be divided by these acts of violence. The leaders of the Somali community in that area and the management of minibus taxi operators should urgently meet and seek a resolution on this matter."

He added: "The revival of the economy after it was negatively affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year, is a responsibility of all. Regional economies like Gqeberha are a key component and should be used as a point of strength."

About eight minibus taxis were allegedly set alight by Somali shop owners in Gqeberha, and it is suspected that in retaliation by taxi operators, three Somali owned small spaza shops were burnt in Zwide and Kwazakhele townships.

Mr Rayi appeals to the leaders of Somali community and taxi associations in Gqeberha and other peace role-players to meet urgently to find a solution to the problem and defuse the reported tensions that have a potential for the perpetuation of violence that is an antithesis to the call for the revival of the economy in Gqeberha.

He said the brandishing of heavy weaponry among citizens is a matter that needs to be investigated and acted upon by relevant law enforcement agencies.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee's Media Officer:
Sibongile Maputi
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 052 6060
E-mail: [email protected]