Children of the soil, let’s foster relations

2017-03-09 06:01
opinionThembile Ndabeni

opinionThembile Ndabeni

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It is called xenophobia when foreign nationals are discriminated against.

Since we are all human beings, it’s good that attacks are condemned.

Different versions of explanations have been expressed for the attacks on ‘foreign nationals”.

One is from an economic perspective- that South Africans are angry because of unemployment-perceiving foreign nationals as taking their jobs.

The other, is that South Africans are lazy, that all they do is to watch foreign nationals establish themselves.

South Africans are not always wrong. At one time, a foreign national was rude to African women, telling them that he came here “to give you jobs”.

Rudeness on the road is like a daily bread from those who drive “push- carts”.

They scratch people’s cars and are rude to them, swearing at them.

They scratched an African lady’s car in front of the Central Library in Cape Town and were rude afterwards.

An elderly woman in her 70s from Site C told that a Somali national spaza-shop owner told her that he would shoot her.

Buying a R10 airtime what I thought was just a chat between adults – I and the Pakistani man behind the counter, turned into my humiliation. He asked me whether I only had R100 notes and I replied ‘yes’. The answer apparently irritated him. “Why do you say yes and not speak to me nicely?

The next thing I was told to voetsek and he took back the airtime after I requested my R100 back. This was not the first time I found myself in such a horrible situation from the Pakistani/Bangladesh nationals. The Coloureds and others are not treated that way.

The Pakistani/Bangladesh nationals seem to have the perception that because Africans/Blacks are in minority in the area can be taken advantage of. Therefore from them is that by having refuge in the Coloured majoritism and Islam religion, means being well protected in whatever is happening to their fellow countrymen elsewhere in South Africa.

However, the Pakistanis/Bangladeshis are integrating easily with the Coloureds in the area.

Should South Africans have responded in all those accounts, they would have been blamed for xenophobia.

Except my encounter, why is the conflict most with Somalis and Nigerians, and not with Zimbabweans and/or Malawians?

However, this kind of attitude will forever perpetuate the hatred among the communities – foreign and SA nationals. Their businesses are thriving in most townships and they should be grateful and make sure that they work to ensure their relations with local communities are par excellence.

It is high time that provocation of South Africans in their own country be noted too, taken seriously and be addressed with immediate attention as it done when it happens the other way round! Foreign nationals are exploiting the loophole of reckless application of the word xenophobia. Xenophobia is not always the correct word, because it blames South Africans of which they are not always perpetrators.

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