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Zulu: Big shopping malls driving out small general dealers

Jun 07 2017 19:00
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town - Shopping malls and big retail centres are driving out small black general dealers in townships and rural areas and government needs to put a stop to this, said Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Wednesday.

Responding to a question from the EFF’s Veronica Mente in the National Assembly, Zulu said there has to be engagement about this phenomenon at all three spheres of government. “It is usually at local and provincial government level where the licences for new shopping malls and centres are granted.”

Zulu said even if general dealers would like to rent space in shopping malls they can’t as the rent charged by these centres are too high.

“There has to be an understanding in government that we need to engage and do something about this. If we don’t we’ll lose jobs,” Zulu said.

Government has in the past year undertaken to do more to focus on developing the rural and township economies, which have been to a large extent not been part of South Africa’s productive economy.

In a separate question from the ANC’s Ruth Bhengu, Zulu was asked to elaborate on her department’s efforts to coordinate job creation – especially from small and medium enterprises (SMMEs).

The minister acknowledged that the three spheres of government often operate in silos. “We need to get buy-in from all three spheres of government to appreciate working together is in our interest,” Zulu said.

She added that local economic development offices need an adequate budget and that the staff who work there are aware of the support SMMEs need.

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