Looming Crisis: South African province, Gauteng to ban foreigners from doing business in townships
London, Sep. 28, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Gauteng Government, a provincial government in South Africa is stirring a fresh crisis for foreigners after confirming that it has reached an ‘advanced stage’ in establishing a contentious new law in the province.
The Township Bill which if becomes law promises to bar foreign nationals from doing business in the region’s townships – unless they have successfully applied for residency status in South Africa.
Foreign nationals could soon be barred from doing business in the townships of South Africa's Gauteng province, unless they obtain permanent residence status. The Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill, tabled this past week, reserves certain economic activities for locals.— TheNewsHawks (@NewsHawksLive) September 27, 2020
Although this proposal has been rumbling for a few years, it seems that Gauteng’s elected officials are now closer than ever to imposing strict controls on who can trade in areas worst-hit by poverty. Tensions between domestic and foreign business owners have been particularly inflamed in the last 18 months or so.
⚠️ CALL FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS:— GautengGov (@GautengProvince) September 23, 2020
The Gauteng Provincial Government is calling on all Gauteng residents to submit written comments on the Gauteng Township Economic Draft Bill. To download the forms, click on: https://t.co/l4GpaX9FwF pic.twitter.com/rgpf6dd0nw
Premier David Makhura, however, sees the new law as a viable solution to the issues raised. His spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga told Jacaranda FM on Monday that the public consultation process is now open – and the ‘ultimate decision’ will be made after concerned stakeholders have had a chance to share their input
Mhaga also confirmed that the policy itself is ‘at an advanced stage’ in its crafting:
“The Township Bill must look in other areas, are there certain areas that must be reserved solely for the exclusive of South Africans? That bill has been ongoing. The ultimate decision will be through public participation, the residents of Gauteng and ultimately it will come into law.”
“It is not really something new, it is something that emanates from post-2019 elections. It is at an advanced stage in terms of the crafting of the proposal.”Vuyo Mhaga, spokesperson for David Makhura, on Gauteng’s Township Bill