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SA Home Affairs, DA denounce violence against foreigners

by Staff reporter
06 Nov 2020 at 19:06hrs | Views
South Africa's Home Affairs Department and that country's main opposition political party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday denounced the violence by some locals targeting foreign nationals in Durban mainly those engaging in Small to Medium Enterprises.

On Monday, the neighbouring country's Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) went on a rampage closing down foreign-owned businesses operating in and around Durban's The Workshop shopping centre.

The group's spokesperson for Kwazulu Natal told journalists in that country that only South Africans should occupy the strategic and profitable business space. As a result, tensions have been mounting in the area with most foreign nationals in the KZN province living in fear of being violently attacked by the locals.

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Home Affairs said it was disturbed by the events that took place in Durban.

"We wish to remind citizens that there are foreign nationals who are in the country legally and are allowed to conduct business in terms of the applicable laws of the country. As such, they should not be unfairly targeted simply on the basis of their nationality. South Africa has immigration laws to deal with illegal foreigners," said the Department.

The organisation also urged South Africans to avoid taking the law into their own hands. Instead, it said where they witness any illegal activities taking place they should report them to authorities for further management.

"We advise people to report any illegal person to the law enforcement and Home Affairs immigration officials. All Home Affairs offices have immigration officers," read the statement.

The Department said it had also started processing the deportation of 20 foreign nationals who were part of the asylum seekers and refugees who were protesting in Cape Town. The deportation of these foreign nationals follows a successful law enforcement operation. According to the statement, the initiative was carried out by the
department's Inspectorate officials, the police, the City of Cape Town, and the departments of Social Development and Health, at the temporary facility at Paint City in Bellville, Cape Town.

The DA's Shadow Minister of Small Business Development, Mr Zakhele Mbhele called on the ruling ANC to take action against the "vigilante veterans" in its ranks.

"We also urge the South African Police Services (SAPS) to provide protection to these small businesses in light of the MKVA's intimidation. This malicious campaign to shut down these small enterprises is nothing short of economic terrorism, and these appalling acts have no place in our constitutional democracy," said Mr Mbhele.

He said his party supports the effective enforcement of reasonable legal requirements for immigrant-owned businesses. He added that the non-compliance to these requirements, whether related to tax or municipal trading regulations, can never be an excuse for vandalism, xenophobia, and intimidation.

"It is erroneous zero-sum thinking from the ANC MKMVA to posit that, in the small business ecosystem, some must lose or shrink in order for others to win or grow, as well as being a false and limited perspective which only sees a finite pie to be shared, rather than realising the prospects for increasing the size of the pie to the benefit of all," said Mr Mbhele.

Xenophobic motivated violence has been mainly driven by criminals south of Limpopo since 2008 where over 6000 foreigners were left displaced in that country. Last year Zimbabwe evacuated hundreds of its citizens from Gauteng Province following another orgy of violence targeting migrant workers.

Source - chroncile

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