A little under 10 years ago, Kumar Sangakara was busy sledging the then Protea Captain, Shaun Pollock in a CWC match held in South Africa. "42 million supporters !!!" He chirped from behind the stumps to our skipper. Guess its probably irrelevant to the fact that we lost the match.
What is relevant though is, 42 million. 42 Million proud South Africans? Or is it? The Government was already allowing immigrants to venture business opportunities in South Africa since the late nineties. So how real does that 42 million sound? Not like there was a head count taken at that time. The immigrants were a small minority and were considered negligible.
Then came 2007-2010. When the feet at the border grew exponentially by the day. This, and the surrounding fences were horded by people from Malawi, Zimbabwe,Somalia, Nigeria etc. They came as poor stray pups, seeking asylum and we obliged. I mean, the more the merrier right? Thus, we find ourselves where we are now! What would Kumar Sangakara chirp our skipper today? "60 Million Supporter"? "100 Million Supporters".
Xenophobia may have been discussed in detail in the past, but I feel the need to surface the topic again. We as South Africans are turning a blind eye to huge problem we going to encounter in the not too distant future. The immigrants are here, settled and calling any and every person even remotely in their family tree to come to South Africa.(Where the resources never dry up). They are infesting the rural environments and killing locals with their numbers. How is a local to survive with a SMME? They will come, open a business within 50m and start operating. Before you blink your eyes, there will be 3 Spaza shops surrounding you. This they do, without paying a single penny of tax/levy hence dominate the market with their pricing. Most of them sleep in the establishment, further cutting costs. They do not provide job opportunities to locals of the town, because they themselves are so many hanging around, waiting for the next Spaza to open up. They are entitled to all our government perks(public hospital etc) without contributing to the tax fund. So the begging question is.... When does this stop?
Xenophobia should not be condoned ! It is a cowardly act of theft. So, what should we do? Just hang around till the rest of Africa comes and settles here in SA? Or wil the problem just go away? Or will it become a problem when the immigrants kids grow up and start flooding the corporate world? Strict regulations better come in soon with home affairs actually going out and checking up on these guys documents or Julius will be the least of this country's problems!
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