The Mayor of the City of Joburg, Herman Mashaba has been criticised for being insensitive to people trying to make a living in Joburg CBD.
Mashaba tweeted about how he called law enforcement on someone who was pushing a trolly full of cow heads (skopo) in the city centre.
He said that this was an "illegal act".
But tweeps accused Mashaba of being "an enemy of progress" citing how this is a norm for most street vendors who sell street food and that no one has ever gotten sick from eating the food.
702/CapeTalk listeners also weighed in on the matter with conflicting views, others saying that Mashaba was a hero and others saying he could've guided this man to better ways of doing business.
I think Herman Mashaba was spot on because nobody knows where the cow heads came from, whether it was from a rotting carcass somewhere. If people ate that and got sick they would've accused the City...— Candice, caller
If we remove these people from the CBD to the outskirts, who will go to the outskirts for a packet of tomatoes? The bylaws are put by people but they must address the issues that are affecting people on the ground.— Moshere, caller
Fifty cows were struck by a lightning last week in Kagiso and those could be from those cows and contaminated. I think we need to look after our health first but the issue is a little bit complicated.— Lucky, Caller
Entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo called in to say that Herman Mashaba has missed a political opportunity to help someone who is operating on the margins of the law.
He says Mashaba has also admitted to operating on the margins of the law when he first started his business years ago.
For me, people who focus on the law have missed a point, this is a social disconnect issue, it is a socio-economic issue.— Vusi Thembekwayo, Business mogul
I have just personally stopped this illegally act in our city. How do we allow meat trading like this? I am waiting for @AsktheChiefJMPD to come and attend before we experience a breakdown of unknown diseases in our @CityofJoburgZA pic.twitter.com/55YjLkBvZb— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) November 12, 2018
Don’t kill small businesses rather try to help those people. These people are trying to earn a living and must not be excluded from parti in the main stream economy,they need to be helped with issues of compliance .— THE LAND IS OURS (@Veli_Ngobese) November 12, 2018
We are going to sit back and allow people like you to bring us Ebolas in the name of small business. Health of our people first. Our health facilities are already stretched to the limit https://t.co/rbPFqlpy1K— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) November 13, 2018
So you put a black man behind bars for trying to make a honest living ,yet up the very same road they are drug dens and drug lords but you couldnt do fokkol?? take us seriously mr mayor..you are lame yourself #hermanmashaba— Sir RaMM Mackntossh (@RaMMMackntossh) November 14, 2018
#HermanMashaba His comment has been met with mixed reaction. "He is a former informal trader. He used to sell his hair products from the back of a vehicle," says the EFF.— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 14, 2018
To hear the rest of the conversations, listen below: