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Call for peace in the City
ETHEKWINI Municipality is working with provincial government to ensure peace and stability in the City following threats to foreigner nationals that have been made. The KwaZulu-Natal government led an emergency meeting on 15 May to discuss the brewing problems in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and
KwaMashu (INK) area between local business people and fellow African nationals.

The emergency meeting was held in KwaMashu and resolved to conduct fresh verification of all spaza shops operating in the INK area and to start regulating the entry of new entities. The agreement, which was brokered by Premier Willies Mchunu and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala as well as eThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, followed threats by local businessmen to shut down all spaza shops owned by foreign nationals.

The meeting was attended by the North Regional Business Association (NORBA) as well as representatives of the Ethiopian and Somali business people operating in the northern townships. NORBA is unhappy with the “mushrooming” of spaza shops in the INK area, saying they have overrun local businesses forcing many to close down. They also blamed government for failing to regulate the trade. The meeting set a deadline of 24 May to start the process of closing down illegal spaza shops operating in the INK area. Going forward, the entry of new spaza shops will be properly managed.
The Municipality will start drafting and implementing regulations to govern the spaza shops in the City, starting with the INK area, with a commitment to better regulate entry into the business.

Premier Mchunu congratulated all parties present, saying the agreement had averted a potentially violent situation. “This is a significant intervention by government. We must never choose to fight first and then to talk later,” he said. MEC Zikalala stressed that the task team would begin work immediately.

charmel.payet@durban.gov.za
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