For some time, they had the protection of the EFF, but its leader Julius Malema is now singing a different tune and has decided to be on the side of South African voters by joining the fight against the employment of foreign nationals in unskilled jobs.
As it stands, retail businesses in the country's townships and villages are dominated by foreign nationals. This encroachment began a long time ago, initiated by the government who preaches that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
In a video shared by a Facebook user, an elderly woman who is a foreign national was threatened by an angry mob of South Africans who are trying to remove all illegal foreigners from their streets. In the video, the frightened woman tried to reason with the mob and showed them her ID, but they refused to reason, assumed that the ID is fake, and threatened to burn her.
Not just that, her small shack was raided with all her belongings turned upside down. Behind her is what looks like a hostel, and all tenants who are illegal immigrants were dragged out of their homes and ordered to leave. No ID, no place in South Africa.
Does this mean that xenophobic attacks have resurfaced in South Africa? The only difference between now and other incidents that happened some time ago is that no one has been murdered and citizens are working with law enforcement to repatriate illegal immigrants.
Does it logically follow then that the crises we are witnessing between locals and foreign shop owners are a result of a government that fails to put its citizens first?
Come to think of it, there are allegations that our government signed up to this arrangement between 1996 and 2004 whereby Pakistanis and Bangladeshis had to come to teach entrepreneurship to South Africans by showing them what is possible in townships, but this was never communicated to local business chambers. I'm still trying to confirm the accuracy of this allegation.
However, most immigrants just saw an opportunity to make money. On the other hand, South Africans saw an opportunity to lease buildings to immigrants instead of applying lessons they've learned from them; which are that bulk buying is king, and the lower the mark up the higher the returns.
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