Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Mr Ravi Pillay, together with Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Mr Bheki Ntuli, and Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla, today led joint business inspections in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.
The inspections, which led to 10 arrests and fines totaling R30 500 being issued to businesses in Pietermaritzburg today, are part of government’s intensified efforts to enforce and encourage compliance with Covid-19 regulations. The inspections also focused on compliance with other laws.
“Primarily we are on a programme to encourage compliance with Covid-19 Regulations. We want to enforce it and we want to spread education around it while at the same time dealing with non-compliance with other legal issues such as liquor licensing and the issue of foreign nationals without documentation which is emerging as a big issue.,” MEC Pillay explained.
Total lack of social distancing at businesses such as hair salons was identified as a huge challenge. Some of the businesses found not to comply with the Disaster Management Regulations were issued with notices which compel them to take remedial measures.
“We hope that this enforcement will act as a deterrence and that the education part will spread the message that Covid-19 is here and is deadly,” MEC Pillay said.
Fines totaling R30 500 were also issued for various transgressions including non-compliance with Disaster Management Regulations and non-compliance with the Businesses Act 71 of 1991. Five businesses were also ordered to appear in court for non-compliance with the Businesses Act. Of those arrested, nine (9) are suspected of being undocumented foreign nationals while one other person was arrested for selling liquor without a license.
MEC Bheki Ntuli voiced his support for the EDTEA led business inspections. “I am here to support MEC Pillay and to try and see that the law is enforced... We are happy with this programme and we are always going to be supporting them on the side of law enforcement.” said MEC Ntuli.
Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said: “The message we are sending to our people is that we are not necessarily here to punish them but the intention of this campaign here is save lives. Unless everybody realizes that Covid-19 is here to kill our people we will not win this battle. The call we are making is that all of us need to comply with Covid-19 regulations”.
EDTEA teams will be conducting similar inspections in various parts of the province.
Issued by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs