The Democratic Alliance (DA) voiced out their concerns about the new Gauteng Township Economy Bill, claiming that the provincial government’s proposed Bill has elements of xenophobia in it.
The bill’s aim is to ease the regulatory burden facing township based enterprises and develop the township economy which is valued at R200 billion per year. The proposed bill states that foreign nationals without permanent residency status will be banned from opening and operating businesses in certain townships in the province.
This recent allegations against Premier David Makhura’s government were made by DA Gauteng spokesperson on economic development Makashule Gana on Sunday.
Gana said that his party was deeply concerned that the proposed bill’s main aim was to drive foreign nationals out of townships. He added that they should be looking at building inclusive communities where residents benefit from each other rather than segregating people on the basis of nationality. He further explained that the manner in which the bill has been put forward is reminiscent of apartheid spatial planning, which seeks to have designated areas of trade and living for people based on nationality.
He emphasized that this is contrary to the principles of democracy, the Constitution as well as what is set out in the Immigration Act, which makes sure that foreign nationals living in the country are afforded rights.