Blantyre City Council (BCC) has said it will close all unlicensed business entities when the 2019/20 financial year starts next month.
This has been said by BCC Director of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Dennis Chinseu, during a press briefing held at the City’s Civic Offices on Tuesday.
Chinseu further said they are striving to enforce conditions on the licenses citing that there were many laws that govern businesses.
“Our target is not only on the revenue collection but also to enforce conditions on the licenses. We look at safety and security of the people as well as hygiene, especially on those dealing in food,” he said.
Chinseu said BCC expects to license 7,500 business entities in the financial year and raise K520 million.
He then said that what the council is likely to do is under the Business License Act.
“Section 12 of the Business Licensing Act requires every business entity to have a license in order to conduct its business activities.
“Licenses are renewed at the beginning of every financial year. This implies that all licenses currently being used will expire on June 30 2019,” he said.
Chinseu confirmed receiving complaints from local businesspersons that they are being pushed out of business by foreigners.
He, however, said the council had put in place measures to cushion the local businesses from the impact of foreigners.
“You will see that, for locals, we have not changed the fees they are supposed to pay to have their licenses renewed. At the same time, local business people usually have one license while foreigners have three or more licenses whose accumulative cost is higher than the fees paid by locals,” he said.