Shops shut down for illegal practices

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18 out of 20 businesses in Botshabelo have been closed down after they were found in violation of municipal bylaws, immigration laws as well as the Consumer Protection Act today. A backstreet factory in Section W was found allegedly brewing cold drinks and labelled them as Coca-Cola, according to the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea).

The shutdown is part of a provincial wide blitz headed by MEC Makalo Mohale since April 2020 to root out illegal business practices within the township economy. “We are a department of economic development, part of our job is to ensure that there is economic justice. There are a number of challenges that are facing us. On top of the list, are illegal activities that are taking place in our communities with regards to business transactions,” he stated.

MEC Makalo Mohale

About 460 shops in 69 Free State towns have been raided so far. “The biggest challenge remains foreign owned shops which seem to violate every available piece of legislation in their quest to exploit poor people in the townships,” stated Destea’s Kgotso Tau.

“Honourable Makalo Mohale continued with his commitment to fix the small business sector for the benefit of local residents in the Free State,” he concluded.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele

nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za