The Licensing of Businesses Bill is a fundamental attack on key aspects of South Africa’s vibrant and growing informal economy, Jonathan Crush WHEN new legislation is introduced that will completely change the way business is done, one imagines its drafters feel it will be good for the economy and people of the country. That is certainly the claim in the preamble to the new Licensing of Businesses Bill, which has been tabled for public comment by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. However, this bill is a fundamental attack on key aspects of South Africa’s vibrant and growing informal economy, which provides a livelihood for many people.One of the less than subtle objectives of the bill is to make it so difficult for noncitizens to operate small businesses in the country that they will go home. If they stay and contravene the legislation, their property and goods will be seized and they face the prospect of a heavy fine or imprisonment or both. A quicker way to criminalise hard-...

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