'Regulate foreign businesses'

Mayor Herman Mashaba at the Township Business Investment Summit and Expo in Soweto yesterday./Mduduzi Ndzingi
Mayor Herman Mashaba at the Township Business Investment Summit and Expo in Soweto yesterday./Mduduzi Ndzingi

Township economies can only grow if foreign-owned businesses are regulated.

This is according to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, who was speaking to Sowetan at the Township Business Investment Summit and Expo at Soweto Theatre in Jabulani yesterday.

"Our country's economy is built with the help of foreign nationals, but it has to be done in a controlled fashion in which people come into [and] try respecting the rule of law."

The two-day summit aims to connect township entrepreneurs with opportunities, resources, information, training and development, finance and markets from corporate South Africa.

He said he hoped the summit would help to unlock opportunities for entrepreneurs to be able to control their local economy and accessing broader markets.

"You cannot have a situation where people come into your community and open unregistered businesses and are not paying taxes and are not employing locals in the area. It's not okay," Mashaba said.

"Our society and country is facing serious challenges with the increase of petrol, contraction of the GDP and VAT increase. This is not a joke."

Israel Mosalo, an entrepreneur who manufactures and sells insect screens, said initiatives would help to grow their businesses as they are already operating in a shrinking economy.

"I do insect screens because I found it difficult to crack into the township tuck shop sector," Mosalo said.

Project manager of Township Business Expo, Elvis Sekhaolelo, said government should devise policies to boost township entrepreneurs.

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