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KZN police on high alert as deadline looms for foreign shop owners

Local business owners have accused foreigners of operating unfairly and not employing South Africans.

Chairperson of the local business association addressing the media following a meeting with KZN Premier Willies Mchunu. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - KwaZulu-Natal police are on high alert as Thursday marks the deadline for foreign business owners to close shop and leave townships.

The Northern Region Business Association wrote a letter to foreigners earlier this month giving them until today to pack up.

Local business owners have accused foreigners of operating unfairly and not employing South Africans.

A meeting between the association and The KZN premier this week to try quell tensions yielded no results.

Several foreign business owners in KwaMashu started closing shop on Wednesday already, telling Eyewitness News how they feared for their lives.

KZN police’s Colonel Thembeka Mbhele says that they will keep a close eye on all townships in the province today.

"As the police, we are alos there to enforce the law as well as to ensure that there no criminal activities are taking place."

Six foreign nationals died and over 2,000 more displaced during xenophobic violence in 2016.

Several foreign business owners here have told EWN that they hope South Africans have learnt from that painful past.

WATCH: Foreign businessmen told to leave KwaZulu-Natal

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