Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and her Trade and Industry counterpart Ebrahim Patel say the regulation of township businesses and the support they enjoy from government is being done in accordance with the country’s laws.
They both answered oral questions for the Economic Cluster in the National Council of Provinces.
The two ministers say the support given to small business in the townships has no xenophobic and racial implications. Ntshivheni was asked about the percentage of street vendors who are South Africans.
The Minister says non-South Africans who are street vendors may include asylum seekers or refugees and their permits must be limited to their asylum or refugee certificates.
“In terms of the immigration laws, only immigrants that are given business permits in the country must be those investing in business upwards of R5 million – as said by the minister of trade and industry. Therefore in terms of the department, we don’t expect that there are street vendors that are not South Africans unless they are refugees and asylum seekers.”
Nurturing South African owned businesses townships
Meanwhile, Patel says government must provide conducive conditions of nurturing South African owned businesses in the townships. He, however, says everything is done according to the laws of the country.
“There’s enormous hunger for jobs and for economic opportunities by many black South Africans township dwellers and government has an important contribution to make to find ways of addressing it of cause we will act in a way that is consistent with the apex court of the country.”
Patel added that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has thought South African businesses to localise. He says they are now producing masks, sanitisers for export to other African countries.