01/30/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/30/2019 01:56
The Provincial Government is determined to end illegal trading in KZN, cautions on opposition parties' opportunism
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Sihle Zikalala and eThekwini Mayor Cllr Zandile Gumede have been commended for their efforts to clamp down on widespread illegal trading as the provincial government launches the KZN Business Regulations Programme.
The programme was implemented following a huge outcry by legitimate businesses who complained about those that are breaking every rule, bylaw and regulation while getting away with impunity.
While today's government action was not a punitive measure aimed at certain individuals, but that staid steps had to be taken to end illegality and the culture of non-compliance.
Communities welcomed MEC Zikalala's leadership and firm stance on illegal trading. They also applauded him for explaining in detail the array of support available to sustain and grow businesses that are compliant with South African laws and regulations.
MEC Zikalala insisted that small businesses and cooperatives are key engines of economic growth and job creation, but said they must play their developmental role within the agreed rules to ensure fairness and justice to all.
'South Africa is founded on the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law. Our laws and regulations apply to all, not some. Businesses must meet their legal obligation. Compliance means obeying the regulations deriving from our laws,' said MEC Zikalala.
He said compliance serves the purpose of ensuring that businesses act responsibly. MEC Zikalala said registering a business, obtaining a business license, and paying due taxes are examples of compliance.
Today's message from MEC Zikalala was 'comply or close shop as South Africa is a rules-based country,'
'Failure to adhere to laws must be punished and prosecuted. By complying, you remove the risk of fines, penalties, strikes, lawsuits or a shutdown of your business,' he said.
Zikalala listed a number of Acts, touching Business Acts regulations, Environmental Health Act regulations, National Building regulations and Fire and Safety regulations.
MEC Zikalala visited Chesterville where he served notices to a number of illegally-trading businesses. He was compelled to remove one illegally-erected structure owned and operated without a business permit.
He proceeded to Mahatma Gandhi Road in the Point precinct and the Berea area where he closed down a number of illegally-trading businesses. One of the challenges faced by the city and province are businesses that operate without required licences and end up posing health hazards on unsuspecting consumers who are sold stuff that does not meet quality and health standards.
'The businesses that are license-liable are food establishments that sell or supply food or perishable foodstuffs, health and entertainment facilities and accommodation establishments,' MEC Zikalala explained.
MEC Zikalala working jointly with the eThekwini mayor later addressed scores of people at Durban City Hall. The audience included provincial mayors, representatives of business organisations, leaders of business chambers and development agencies, SMMEs, cooperatives and various government departments.
MEC Zikalala who is also the Leader of Government Business told the audience that they must all work together to ensure that illegal trading is a thing of the past in KZN.
'We support businesses that comply with legislation. I have three things I wish you to emphasise today; namely: Illegal trading must come to an end in KZN. To put it more bluntly, the days of illegal trading are over in KZN. Provincial government and EDTEA support compliant businesses. And I implore you; let's work together to enforce business compliance and grow the provincial economy. The illegal trade is strangling law abiding traders.'
Mr Zikala revealed that currently all 43 KZN Municipalities have been granted authority by his office as MEC for EDTEA as per Gazette no 1972 of the 12 July 2018 as provided for by the Businesses Act no 71 of 1991 to enable municipalities to issue or refuse to issue Businesses Licences.
This calls for the municipalities to ensure that proper inspections are undertaken, MEC Zikalala said.
Many people praised the efforts of the MEC and the KZN government of ensuring that business regulations are enforced. They were also happy to learn about the support that exists from government and other players to support sustainable entrepreunership.
Mr Zikalala said his department would in the next few weeks launch the bulk buying programme aimed at giving more buying capacity among traders for maximum profit making.
Bulk-buying is directed at assisting small scale traders to achieve economics of scale to be able to maximise profits essential for sustainable growth. Clamping down on illegal business operators and those selling counterfeit and expired products and as well as those erecting business outlets outside zoned or designated areas is directed at protecting licensed and law-abiding entrepreneurs from unscrupulous and unlawful traders.
It is also aimed at curbing on fronting by some established enterprises using desperate traders to sell them expired products or even illegal commercial items.
Mr Zikalala has however, took exception to the opportunistic and disingenuous behaviour of some opposition parties who have hijacked this noble cause with intent to making it a political issue when it is not.
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