Lawyers for Human Rights raises concerns about township economy bill

Free-market enterprise is one of the main pillars of capitalist economies. Being able to set up a business whenever and wherever you want, provided it's lawful. But that might not be the case in Gauteng in the future. The provincial government has passed a draft bill that excludes non-permanent foreigners from setting up shop in certain townships.

 

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng provincial government has passed a draft bill that excludes non-permanent foreigners from setting up shop in certain townships.

Gauteng authorities said this will clear-up regulatory concerns, which South Africans accuse foreign nationals of violating.

READ: HRW: Foreigners 'live in constant fear' in South Africa

Mathopane Masha, Director of Inclusive Economy at the Gauteng 

Economic Development Department, said the bill is intended to stimulate township economies and make them commercial zones by streamlining rules for starting a business and supporting entrepreneurs.

Sharon Ekambaram, the head of the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights, said the bill's intention may be good, but it is mistimed.

READ: Xenophobia has no place in SA, says Pandor

"This bill is being promulgated in a context of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals, and it's equally important to consider the implications for this kind of bill of issuing licenses in the context of corruption."

Ekambaram said the NGO's worry is the bill will produce more harm than good.

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Source
eNCA