Africa Unite calls for protection of foreign nationals in SA communities
The human rights advocacy group has called for the protection and proper integration of foreign nationals in South African communities. This follows the fatal shooting of two Somali nationals in Philippi earlier in the week.
CAPE TOWN - Human rights advocacy group, Africa Unite has called for the protection and proper integration of foreign nationals in South African communities.
This follows the fatal shooting of two Somali nationals in Philippi earlier in the week.
Africa Unite spokesperson Lelethu Nogwavu strongly condemned the targeting of foreign nationals, particularly small business owners.
"We do advocate for the fact that migrants should be protected as they are by the Constitution as well as the Refugee Act to be able to be integrated properly in societies."
Nogwavu added that South Africans in townships benefit from the existence of spaza shops and said he believes they should play a more active role in advocating for unity.
The group also sounded the alarm on government's proposal to audit foreign-owned spaza shops.
This is after Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced plans to audit foreign-owned spaza shops in townships and villages.
The announcement followed several incidents of children being hospitalised, some losing their lives after consuming allegedly food items bought from street vendors and spaza shops.
"If we start saying that we do it specifically to migrants or Somali shop owners, then it breeds xenophobia, it breeds violence, and it breeds the looting and all the uproars that we have been seeing in communities because of these misconceptions and narratives that come with it," said Nogwavu.
Nogwavu added that the call for auditing small businesses must be a non-tactical approach.
"I would say that if spaza shops are being audited by government and they have to pay tax, let's do that to all spaza shops. Whether it's a Somali spaza shop or South African-owned local spaza shops, they would also have to be required to pay such tax."