Survey: Most okay with foreign spaza shops

Johannesburg - Most South Africans believe foreigners should be allowed to run their spaza shops in the country, a new survey has revealed.

"Around 44% felt foreigners should be stopped from running spaza shops, compared to 46% saying they should be allowed to stay, with 10% undecided," the researchers said.

The survey was conducted by Pondering Panda among 5 641 adult South African nationals from different demographic groups.

It showed men were more negative towards foreign-owned businesses than women.

"About 48% of men felt that foreign run spazas should be stopped, compared to 40% of women," stated the researchers.

Resentment

People of different age groups held different opinions on the matter, with most older respondents rejecting foreign-owned businesses.

"About 54% of those aged 35 years and older were negatively disposed, compared to 43% of those aged between 18 and 24. Negative perceptions were uniform across racial groups."

Foreign-owned spaza shops were mostly rejected in the Western Cape and North West provinces.

According to the survey, negative feedback was also largely collected from poorer respondents.

Pondering Panda spokesperson Butch Rice said this was probably due to resentment.

"The findings of this survey confirm that we are facing a very real threat of xenophobia," said Rice.

Just this week alone, several spaza shops belonging to foreigners living in the Western Cape were looted and torched.

"Given the relatively high percentage of people opposed to foreigners running spaza shops the violence can be expected to continue, unless the authorities take decisive action," said Rice.

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