On 31 May 2024, the Department of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs gazetted a draft standard by-law on township economies – calling for input within 30 days. This is noting that sub-section 14(1) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000, allows the Minister to propose standard municipal by-laws on the understanding that certain procedures are followed.

Focusing as it does on national policy and legislation, SA Legal Academy Policy Watch did not report on this at the time. Neither was the draft standard by-law published on the national government website – although the Parliamentary Monitoring Group did post it on a page of their site dedicated to documents for public comment.

Stakeholders still have 20 days to make their input.

Among other things, a preamble to the proposed new standard by-law draws attention to the following, that:

  • the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013, mandates municipal spatial development frameworks to:
    • ‘identify current and future economic nodes where public and private investment will be prioritised’, and
    • ‘identify the designation of areas where incremental upgrading approaches to development and regulation will be applicable’
  • ‘the dense concentration of poverty, unemployment and related social ills makes townships a priority for inclusive growth and development’
  • ‘Government acknowledges that townships must be vibrant economic centres’
  • ‘Government recognises that participation and meaningful inclusion of the businesses in townships will transform the economy’, and that
  • ‘section 22 of the Constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to choose his or her trade, occupation or profession freely, and empowers the State to regulate the practice of a trade, occupation or profession by law’.

The preamble also notes that, in terms of the Business Act, 1991, municipalities may either declare or prohibit trading in zones within their jurisdictional areas.

Against that backdrop, the draft standard by-law seeks to:

  • ‘facilitate inclusive spatial and economic development in townships’
  • ‘harmonise the township ecosystem and provide norms and standards for the establishment and management of township-based enterprises, both formal and informal’
  • ‘raise awareness of applicable laws and regulations affecting township businesses’, and
  • ‘support small businesses to grow and participate in mainstream economic activities’.

To that end, among other things it is proposed that each municipality should use its powers to:

  • ‘build the operational and management capacity of entrepreneurs and small businesses in townships through workshops, training or mentoring’
  • ‘conduct business compliance and awareness workshops’
  • ‘facilitate skills development and business development support services for township businesses’
  • ‘facilitate access to infrastructure for township businesses’, and
  • ‘facilitate access to markets for township businesses’.

The proposed new standard by-law also deals with:

  • business activity registration and permitting procedures (including a permit’s transferability)
  • prohibited and restricted activities and areas, and
  • hygiene and waste removal.

It is envisaged that municipalities should be allowed six months to adopt the new standard by-law once finalised and gazetted.

  • draft standard municipal by-law

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

There are not comments for this article at the moment, check back later.
You must be logged in to add a comment, log in now.
Need Help ?

Explore Smarty