Township bill informal settlement whites white

An informal settlement based in South Africa – Photo: Patrice Merlaud / Flickr

Township Bill: White citizens in SA’s informal settlements can also ‘claim aid’

The Township Development Bill will help enterprises in informal settlements THRIVE – and it covers white-owned businesses, too.

Township bill informal settlement whites white

An informal settlement based in South Africa – Photo: Patrice Merlaud / Flickr

The Township Economic Development Bill has been approved by the Gauteng Legislature this week, and the legislation aims to revolutionise the way business is done in our informal settlements. As highlighted by the FF Plus, funds and support will also be made available to poor white citizens in South Africa.

Economic Development Bill ‘a gamechanger’ for businesses operating in informal settlements

The new laws will compel bigger businesses to source materials from local township businesses in Gauteng, ensuring that these smaller market places are able to mix it with the titans of industry. It’s a popular bill across all benches of the Legislature, and its swift adoption has not come as a surprise.

“The legislation aims to promote economic transformation to enable the meaningful participation of the previously excluded in our economy. It provides a framework which makes it possible for people living in townships to establish thriving and successfully businesses on their own doorsteps.”

“The Bill will ensure that retail malls and supermarkets will partner with township-based enterprises. It will also create a partnership fund, which will pool both public and private sector resources to fund these businesses.”

Gauteng Government Statement

How many white South Africans live in a township?

However, the FF Plus have also noted that this scheme – which appears to have relaxed certain BBBEE requirements – ‘does not exclude white citizens’ who also live in informal settlements. Around 15 000 whites are thought to live in townships, making up for 0.3% of the population.

Nonetheless, Gauteng MPL Anton Alberts has praised the Act for being ‘non-exclusionary’.

“The Economic Development of Informal Settlements Act [or Township Economic Development Bill] was adopted in the Gauteng Legislature today. It’s now possible for poor whites who reside here to also receive business aid. Although the Act refers to black empowerment, it does not exclude whites who are part of poor communities.”

“The FF Plus ensured that although the law is aimed primarily at black residents of such settlements, it still makes provision for all poor persons to benefit from the legislation, which aims to assist poor entrepreneurs in establishing successful businesses in informal settlements and stimulate the economy there.”

Anton Alberts, FF Plus