Minister to meet with hawkers in Johannesburg

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JOHANNESBURG, August 5 – Small business development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will on Monday meet with hawkers’ representatives in the Johannesburg central business district following attacks on police last week when they attempted to confiscate counterfeit goods from informal traders, her department said.

In a statement, the department’s spokeswoman Priscilla Monama said Ntshavheni would also receive a briefing on the prevalence of counterfeit goods sold in the streets of Johannesburg.

“The minister believes that the informal business sector provides a critical safety net against unemployment and poverty for society, in particular the urban poor,” Monama said.

“The intrusion of criminality and lawlessness that saw attacks on law enforcement agencies damages opportunities for all participants and stakeholders of the sector to grow and meaningfully contribute in developing South Africa, and such, should not be tolerated by all.”

Police were forced to use rubber bullets last week as angry foreign nationals trading in the district retaliated against the confiscation of their goods, hurling rocks at police vehicles and forcing them to retreat.

Police said they withdrew from the area to avoid the loss of lives. No arrests have been made to date.

– African News Agency (ANA)