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Help stop xenophobia: Buy Zimbabwe

13 Apr 2022 at 06:36hrs | Views
FEBRUARY 2022 saw the emergence of a vigilante group in South Africa led by one Nhlanhla "Lux" Dhlamini, that launched what they termed Operation Dudula, against foreigners. It viciously targeted Zimbabweans for persecution. The demonstrators argued that foreign nationals were stealing jobs that belonged to South Africans.

Operation Dudula resulted, among other things, in the death of a 43-year-old Zimbabwean man, Mbondazwe Elvis Nyathi, who was stoned to death and burnt. While it is understandable that South Africans feel that Zimbabweans and other foreigners are crowding them out of jobs and social amenities, the persecution of Zimbabweans cannot be justified.

To make matters worse, some political leaders in South Africa such as ANC spokesperson, Pule Mabe, told the Mail and Guardian that they support communities that fight against illegal activities in the country.

However, in a demonstration of good leadership, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the primitive and barbaric activities of Dudula.

The senseless persecution of Zimbabweans in South Africa requires that we address the issue of jobs in Zimbabwe. The answer to these questions is simple. The challenges facing Zimbabweans in South Africa does not need a purely political solution but a hybrid of political and economic solutions. These economic solutions can be implemented by both the government and the citizens.

Zimbabweans can contribute to solving the illegal migration to South Africa and other countries. The most viable solution to the challenges our fellow countrymen are facing in South Africa is for all Zimbabweans to prioritise buying local products. This doesn't mean that Zimbabweans should shun foreign products. According to Michael Shuman, author of the book Going Local, buying or going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably. It also means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports.

Zimbabweans should know that buying locally is equal to building local industry and creating jobs for ourselves. Buying foreign goods means creating jobs for foreigners while creating unemployment in Zimbabwe. By buying foreign goods we are exporting jobs to other countries. We will then be compelled to go and seek employment in countries to which we export the jobs. The residents of those countries will then persecute us. Citizens should know that they have the power to reduce unemployment and to grow the Zimbabwean economy by making wise choices at the till points.

Our local people should be aware that when dollars are spent locally, they can in turn be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base. This re-circulating of money will eventually lead to an increase in economic activity, with the degree of expansion entirely dependent on the percentage of money spent locally.

This means more money will be circulating in the local economy, which may lead to construction of more public infrastructure like schools and clinics, and raising more money in taxable transactions to fund local government services.

Furthermore, Zimbabweans should always promote local companies in all sectors. Insure with Zimbabwean insurance companies, bank with Zimbabwean banks, shop at Zimbabwean shops and malls, and wear Zimbabwean clothing.

I am sure this approach would have the support of the South African government as it would keep undocumented Zimbabweans out of South Africa. It would also benefit Zimbabwe's economy which should become more prosperous through saving foreign currency.

Significantly more money re-circulates locally when purchases are made at the locally owned business. This recirculation is attributed, in part, to locally owned businesses purchasing more often from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps other businesses grow, as well as the local tax base.

Source - The Herald
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