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Central Karoo is an ‘illegal foreigner-free zone’

Mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality Gayton McKenzie. Picture: Meshe Habana/Facebook

Mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality Gayton McKenzie. Picture: Meshe Habana/Facebook

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Siyabonga Sithole

This week was a busy week for the mayor of Central Karoo, Gayton McKenzie, who presided over a string of initiatives ahead if his 100 day in office celebration on July 21.

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The week began with the announcement of Tasty Bakery with training of staff who will see an end to importing of bread from Worcester. On Tuesday, McKenzie unveiled a tar production factory which will put an end to pothole issues in Beaufort West after years of buying tar from nearby George.

Both the bakery and the tar factory are part of the plans to make the area an attractive investment and business destination as the coalition government is led by McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance (PA) and other parties.

During a speech delivered at the unveiling of the tar production factory, the businessman turned politician thanked members from the coalition parties, adding that he was not a lone ranger in the success of the Central Karoo, as other leaders were so central to the renewed spirit of service delivery that has taken over since the beginning of his tenure.

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The Central Karoo led by the PA is governed through a multiparty coalition made up of Karoo Gemenskap Party (KGP), the PA, the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) as well as the ANC.

“People always say ‘McKenzie, McKenzie’, but we are a team here. I am not doing this alone. So I would like to thank the investors from Kimberley and Pretoria who have invested in the opening of this tar factory as well as leaders from other parties who are part of the collective efforts if this coalition. We will pave our driveways to support this factory,” McKenzie said.

The mayor, who since his tenure has been making the right noises, said that as municipal leaders their job was not to create jobs, but to create an enabling environment for job creation and employment opportunities for citizens as well as local and foreign investors seeking to partner with leaders and residents.

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"There is a mistake that is being made that we do not want to make here. As municipalities, we do not create jobs but are here to enable a job creation environment. We can't have 100 people fighting for 10 jobs, but instead must find ways to empower at least 10 entrepreneurs to each create 10 jobs that will benefit 100 people,” he said.

However, the no-nonsense leader said the area was not open to illegal foreigners as Central Karoo was an illegal foreigner-free zone.

“This is an illegal foreigner-free zone. We do not want people without papers here. They are now leaving and going to George and Cape Town because they have been told they are welcome there. No jobs will happen with Zimbabweans, Somalians and people from the DRC. Not under my watch. They can say what they like, but South Africans are not lazy. We are going to train our people and educate them and we will hire only South Africans," he said.

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