Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) MEC Sihle Zikalala and eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede in Chesterville during the launch of Business Regulation Programme in Chesterville. Picture supplied.

Durban - The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) have begun shutting down illegal businesses in Durban on Tuesday. 

This is part of a province-wide launch of Business Regulation Programme conducted jointly with the eThekwini Municipality.

Sihle Zikalala, the MEC for EDTEA, and officials blitzed Chesterville, west of Durban where several so-called "container shops" have mushroomed in recent years. 

Zikalala's intervention has already seen an illegal structure being towed away during EDTEA business regulations programme drive in Chesterville. 

Zikalala said once they are done with Chesterville they would move on to various other areas to enforce compliance with regard to illegal trading.

"We have been able to close down some of the illegal businesses trading without permits. We have removed some of the illegally-erected trading structures. Our programme will also spread to other municipalities across KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to curb the spike in illegal traders. Some of the local businesses have allegedly closed shop due to unfair practices by some traders. This is our drive to regulate trading to ensure fair competition," Zikalala said.

The EDTEA said the proliferation of illegal business enterprises has caused severe anger among KwaZulu-Natal residents.

Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) MEC Sihle Zikalala at a business in Chesterville. Picture: Supplied

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala will officially launch the province-wide campaign directed at effective implementation of business regulations which amongst other things call for all businesses to be properly registered to curb illegal trade and unfair competition.

Local government leaders, including mayors, speakers and municipality managers as well as representatives of small scale businesses and corporate sector have joined forces. 

“We decided to develop a programme aimed at curbing illegal trade after we received numerous complaints about the rise of businesses which operate without permits in all parts of the province. We want to thank our communities for having worked with us as we developed this programme,” said Zikalala.

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