Letter: Stifling entrepreneurship spells more doom - The Star

1 October 2020 - Under the Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill, particular township businesses will be reserved for South African citizens or those with permanent residence. This is in line with years of official ambivalence towards foreign businesspeople.

Under the Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill, particular township businesses will be reserved for South African citizens or those with permanent residence. This is in line with years of official ambivalence towards foreign businesspeople.

Recall then minister Nomvula Mokonyane's word in 2015: "Our townships cannot be a site of subtle takeover and build up for other situations we have seen in other countries. "I am ready to state my view formally in defence of our communities."

Excluding foreigners will be damaging all round. Competitive business practices we at the Institute of Race Relations have published research on the drivers of "foreign" businesses are good for the consumers these businesspeople service, and good for the economy.

If the economy is to recover from Covid19 and the lockdown, the government should recognise the importance of entrepreneurship. That it does not, and that the economic heartland is moving to curtail entrepreneurial initiative, is another disturbing indication of where South Africa is heading. Despite the economic crisis, the government has doubled down on race-based empowerment policy and is committed to expropriation without compensation. SAA is to be retained.

A "state-led" recovery is envisioned even though the debilitating ANC policy of cadre deployment will continue, despite having damaged the state's ability to function.

Terence Corrigan, Project manager, Institute of Race Relations

 

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