Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Gauteng law on economic development of informal settlements may possibly enable poor whites to receive business aid

As a first under the provincial ANC government, the Economic Development of Informal Settlements Act, which was adopted in the Gauteng Legislature today, makes it possible for poor whites who reside there to also receive business aid.

The FF Plus ensured that although the law is aimed primarily at black residents of such settlements, it still makes provision for all poor persons to benefit from the legislation, which aims to assist poor entrepreneurs in establishing successful businesses in informal settlements and stimulate the economy there.

Furthermore, the FF Plus has for a long time pointed out to the ANC government on both local and national level that localism is important and that there should be a focus on creating a healthy business environment in poor communities in order to combat poverty in a sustainable way.

The ANC government's apparent discovery of the value of localism is, ironically, almost too late to implement at this stage, because it is the ANC's catastrophic overarching economic policy that has Gauteng on the ropes.

The FF Plus will surely make use of the opportunity afforded by the legislation to ensure that whites and coloureds – the latter made virtually no socio-economic progress since 1994 – who are part of poor communities can establish new businesses or grow their existing businesses.

Although the preamble of the Act refers to black empowerment, as usual, it does not exclude whites who are part of poor communities.

Clause 11(g) specifically determines that state organs may offer assistance to South African persons who were previously or are currently disadvantaged and who are business-owners. In Section 19(2), this rule is reiterated with regard to loans from the Informal Settlements Fund, which must be created in accordance with the Act.

The next legislative step is to issue regulations specifying the mechanisms of the Act.

The FF Plus will keep a watchful eye on the regulations to ensure they do not deviate from the Act's provisions that all South Africans, who are poor and reside in informal settlements, have access to the legislation's benefits.




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