Coun­cil­lor says Tsh­wane mayor’s visit out of or­der

The Independent on Saturday - - NATION - LOYISO SIDIMBA [email protected]

DA GAUT­ENG pre­mier can­di­date and Tsh­wane mayor Solly Msi­manga was em­broiled in a scream­ing match with ANC ward coun­cil­lor Mat­lale Mphahlele in Diep­sloot yes­ter­day for not telling her they were vis­it­ing the area.

A fum­ing Mphahlele ar­rived at the Tl­habol­ogo Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tre, where the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion was show­cas­ing its job cre­ation ini­tia­tives with its leader, Mmusi Maimane, and Jo­han­nes­burg mayor Her­man Mashaba and told them their visit was “out of or­der”.

“The next time you come here, I will or­gan­ise the com­mu­nity and it’s not go­ing to be nice,” she threat­ened.

Msi­manga re­sponded: “To do what? I am say­ing what you are do­ing is so wrong. This is a com­mu­nity cen­tre.”

Mphahlele said the DA should have in­formed her that it was vis­it­ing Ward 95.

But Msi­manga told Mphahlele that her ac­tions were wrong.

At the event, Mashaba re­peated his com­ments about for­eign-owned busi­nesses which had pre­vi­ously been slammed as xeno­pho­bic.

”I used to buy bread, I used to buy meat in su­per­mar­kets, in bak­eries run by our own peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties, in our town­ships, in our vil­lages. To­day I can take you around here and within five min­utes you are go­ing to find a shop be­ing run by ev­ery­body else ex­cept a South African,” he said.

Mashaba ap­pealed to the Diep­sloot com­mu­nity to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity cen­tre.

“I can­not af­ford a sit­u­a­tion where I visit my fam­ily in Ham­man­skraal in Ramotse, I visit my fam­ily in Soweto and go and buy from a per­son who I don’t know. I want to buy petrol from a garage run by some­one liv­ing in Soweto. I must buy bread from some­one liv­ing in Ramotse, born in and a prod­uct of Ramotse. That is what we want,” he added.

Mashaba later said he was not against for­eign­ers run­ning busi­nesses in the coun­try.

“That is why we work with the South African Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars), so that South African busi­nesses are reg­is­tered. Why then do we sug­gest that any­body else can come from any­where in the world and their busi­nesses are not reg­is­tered?” he asked.

Mashaba sug­gested that the ma­jor­ity of for­eign-owned busi­nesses were not reg­is­tered.

”Out of five busi­nesses we find, if 10% of them are reg­is­tered I’ll give you R100 000,” said the busi­ness­man-turned-politi­cian.

Maimane said il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion was a chal­lenge and it was im­por­tant that South Africa’s bor­ders were se­cured.

Mashaba said he wanted to bring back the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit that ex­isted dur­ing apartheid among black peo­ple

“Since 1994, un­for­tu­nately the ANC gov­ern­ment has de­stroyed the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit of black peo­ple in this coun­try. So we need to re­vi­talise this,” said Mashaba.

He said the open­ing of four op­por­tu­nity cen­tres was part of his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan to re­vi­talise the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in town­ships across the city.

Ac­cord­ing to Mashaba, by the end of June, the city would have opened three more op­por­tu­nity cen­tres.

”We want to re­ally fo­cus on our peo­ple so that they un­der­stand how to run a busi­ness. That is why we have joined hands with the South African In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants and Sars,” he said.

SOLLY MSI­MANGA

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