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‘Minister of small business destruction’ — Zille on plans to enforce regulations and close illegal businesses

26 January 2022 - 12:00
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has weighed in on small business minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’ plan to close businesses trading illegally. 

Speaking at a small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) ministerial roadshow in Mpumalanga this week, Ndabeni-Abrahams said her department had a responsibility to enforce regulatory compliance in the SMME sector and close businesses trading illegally. 

“The responsibility of the department of small business development is to create an enabling environment to promote the growth and sustainability of small enterprises and co-operatives in townships and rural areas.

“The department is creating platforms that provide the business support infrastructure and regulatory environment that enables entrepreneurs to thrive,” she added.

Zille said Ndabeni-Abrahams’ plan was not about development, but destruction. 

“I wonder if this minister has ever actually started, financed and run a small business in her life?

“She should ask those of us who have how difficult this government makes it for people trying to earn an honest living. Minister of small business destruction,” she said. 

Ndabeni-Abrahams’ plan comments comes weeks after ActionSA members, the Patriotic Alliance and EFF conducted visits to businesses. 

This week the labour department said it would conduct “mega-blitz inspections” at hospitality venues in the Western Cape to ensure businesses are following proper employment protocols.

The inspections, which will be led by inspector-general Aggy Moiloa, chief inspector Tibor Szana and Western Cape chief inspector David Esau, are set to take place until Friday in the Cape Town metropole, Cape Winelands and Overberg regions. 

The specialist team will check for compliance with occupational health and safety, minimum wage and unemployment insurance fund regulations.

The department of home affairs and SA Police Service will join the inspections to ensure all businesses such as hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and restaurants are fully compliant.


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