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Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Joburg targets illegal businesses

Illegal businesses in Melville and Greenside are to be cleaned up by the City of Joburg in a sustained six-month project.

The Mellville and Greenside business districts have been in decline.

Region B director Vicky Shuping said there was a lot of non-compliance of by-laws and liquor laws, which has led to the steady decline of these suburbs, two of Joburg's most vibrant.

Last week, officials held their first meeting with businesses to give them an opportunity to get their houses in order before the raids start.

Shuping said illegal activities had spiralled out of control in these areas over the past few years.

'There is a lot of non-compliance. We have tried to clean up with blitzes and raids, and we plan to intensify them. But the ultimate aim is not raids - we would rather get the businesses to comply, and we want to assist them in doing so,' she said at the first meeting last week.

At the meeting, representatives of the urban management department, the environmental health department, the law enforcement unit, the Liquor Board, the SAPS and Joburg metro police department were present. Each handed out lists of requirements, and businesses were afforded the opportunity to ask questions.

'I am humbled by the attendance. It is one of our priorities to sort Melville and Greenside out once and for all, and to return them to their former glory. Last week's meetings served as a precursor to the second phase of the planned initiative for Melville and Greenside,' Shuping said.

'We will be launching a sustained plan of action in Melville and Greenside, where we will be conducting regular raids and law enforcement operations until we can eradicate the problem properties and restore confidence to the areas.'

The transgressions:

  • Businesses operating illegally and not doing what they were zoned for.

  • Contraventions of the Liquor Act.

  • Noise pollution.

  • Environmental health infringements.

  • Fire and safety hazards.

  • Drug dealing.

  • Pavement encroachment.

    The Star 

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