Ramaphosa settlement women defend foreign shop owners

2011-06-02 08:29

Women residents of Ramaphosa informal settlement stood up to spaza shop owners who tried to evict their Somali and Pakistani competitors out of the area, The Times reported today.

Yesterday morning, members of the Greater Gauteng Business Forum had driven around the informal settlement inviting people to join them in taking action against the foreign businessmen.

They marched down the main streets of Ramaphosa ordering the foreigners to close shop and leave.

But at one of the main Somali-owned shops, they met with resistance: a large group of women, some carrying babies, demanded that their bosses be left alone.

“They give us jobs, but you are denying us this opportunity. If you want them to leave, then you must give us jobs. What will our children eat? Where will I get money to send them to school?” the daily quoted Cynthia Mtikiki shouting.

Vinolia Maluma said the forum’s actions were prompted by “greed and jealousy”.

“The same guys who want our bosses to leave treat us badly, and they pay us R800 a month.

“But the Somalis pay us R2 000 and they don’t bring their own people. They employ locals.”

A High Court order handed down last week prohibited the intimidation of foreign nationals. Despite the strong presence of police in the area, foreigners said they still lived in fear.

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