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Foreign shop owners in KZN plead for govt protection following threat

Foreign shop owners in KZN townships have been living in fear since the emergence of a threatening letter from the Northern Region Business Association.

FILE: Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

KWAZULU-NATAL - Foreign shop owners in KwaZulu-Natal have called on government to protect them as a deadline for them to stop operating in townships looms.

They say they received a letter from the Northern Region Business Association - which apparently represents local informal traders - instructing them to close shop and vacate the area by Thursday.

A similar letter emerged in 2015, which led to the killing of at least six foreign shop owners and 2,000 more were displaced.

Local shop owners are accusing foreigners of putting them out of business and operating illegally.

Foreign shop owners in KZN townships have been living in fear since the emergence of the threatening letter.

They now want government to step in.

“We want government to protect us and if there is any problem to be resolved, we are ready to negotiate with them."

Government called an urgent meeting between foreign and local shop owners in KwaMashu on Tuesday night, which resolved that all businesses in the area should be registered and regulated.

But the local business association says it will only decide at a meeting with community members whether to allow foreign shop owners to continue trading beyond tomorrow.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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