Steps taken to bring order and stability in township businesses

 

The Gauteng Provincial Government through the Department of Economic Development (GDED) has taken a conscious decision to embark on “O Kae Molao” to bring order and stability in township businesses.

According to Castro Ngobese, spokesperson for the MEC of Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, this initiative resulted because of the latest wild cat attacks and looting of shops owned by foreign nationals in Soweto and elsewhere in the province.

“A number of shops owned by foreign nationals were targeted and looted by certain rotten elements in Soweto and some other areas. This saw a number of our people taking the law into their own hands,” said Ngobese.

He said the government will be kick-starting the “O Kae Moloa” campaign to deal with selling of illegal and fake goods/ products in all spaza shops across the province.

“The campaign will start on September 18. We will be embarking on unannounced visits to many spaza shops across the length and breadth of the province. Already, the Gauteng government has dispatched a team to monitor and intervene where necessary.”

He said pilot operations were undertaken within the City of Ekurhuleni from August 30. The mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mazwandile Masina led a joint operation of SAPS, EMPD, Home Affairs, Health, and City Planning Officials into the communities of Reiger Park, Tembisa and Tokoza.

“Over the three day operation, 51 spaza shops where inspected,  37 shops were closed down for further investigation,  over 25 undocumented immigrants were detained, and over eight tons of suspicious goods were seized and sent to the health laboratories for testing,”  said Ngobese.

Masina has also deployed his ten MMCs to visit communities twice a week with EMPD and Health Inspectors to continue efforts to clamp down on unlawful business practices.

Regarding the recent incidents,  Ngobese said they salute the role played by law enforcement officials for acting decisively and restoring order.

“This brought some levels of stability and order in all the affected areas. The police have been mandated to investigate the circumstances or underlying reasons that triggered the attacks and looting.

“These unfortunate incidents should not be de-linked from the broader economic and social challenges faced by our people. It is within this context that as government we are working hard to deliver on our commitment to deliver decent jobs and a better life for all.”

He said the main source of the targeting and looting of the shops was informed by the allegation that some of the shops are involved in selling of fake products and goods sold at cheaper prices.

“Given the economic and financial hardships of our people, they fall vulnerable and buy such goods and products.

“Obviously there has been a growing scale of fake goods destined and being sold in most shops in townships around the province. These goods and products will no longer have space or market in our townships.

“We are putting a stop to it from now onwards, working closely with all relevant law enforcement agencies and entities tasked with the necessary responsibilities.”

ALSO READ:

Mayor cracks down on fake food spaza shops

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  AUTHOR
Riaan Engelbrecht
Editor

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