Here’s my problem with foreigners

2011-07-09 09:37

It is convenient for those who hold high-paying and secure editorial jobs, and stay in the leafy Joburg suburbs surrounded by boom gates and high walls, to be critical of our attitude towards foreigners because they can’t see that our only means of survival is currently being threatened by foreigners.

I personally have a problem with foreigners – not because I am jealous of them, as the local media like to allege, and not because I cannot compete with them – but I also have a problem in a country where, as a local, I have to follow certain red tape while foreigners can just come in and establish businesses without going through the same red tape.

I wanted to open a small business for my orphaned teenage cousins to help them supplement their income.

I went to the local council as a good law-abiding citizen to ask about the process to follow to open a tuck shop in the back yard. I was told that the area was not designated for business and that I should apply for sites on a council-designated business area.

Surprisingly, Somalis are now operating businesses in that area and I, being a good South African, am still searching in the local newspaper to see if there are any advertised sites where I can start my business.

Some of you in the media think of us as wimps, but behind our wimpiness lies many laws that stop us from doing certain things.

For example, we have to abide by certain trading hours while the Pakistanis can trade 24 hours nonstop and nobody complains. Maybe this is because of the new tendency in this country to be hard on South Africans while being more forgiving with foreigners.

Crimes that are committed by South Africans in general, and blacks in particular, are followed with passion by our media. But some of the wrongdoings committed by foreigners are ignored.

In closing, although I am not staying in the townships, I sympathise with those township traders who have to compete with people who come into this country empty-handed, without any responsibilities, sell things cheaply, knowing that when they go back to their country, the currency exchange will turn them into millionaires.

Also, it is ironic that the likes of Cosatu are critical of the Massmarts of this world, but to me, Massmart is doing the same thing the Chinese and the Pakistanis did to kill local businesses.

The black middle class, particularly those in the media and in government, should do their homework before criticising us.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.