Government to be blamed

2015-04-30 06:00

This xenophobic madness; who are the victims and who are the perpetrators?

Victims are ordinary fellow nationals from all over the African continent, who came to our country to seek political asylum and economic opportunities.

However, they are in direct competition with other, poor citizens, who are living on the edges of economy gain in their own country.

The middle class foreign nationals who are here as “investors”, academics, corporate executives, artist, and sports stars do not fall victim to this craze.

This section of the foreign nationals mingle and socialize with ANC dynasties.

This section will only know of these attacks from their televisions screens, internet and other media sources.

South Africa has a responsibility in terms of international conventions to protect refugees and people who are seeking asylum in our country.

Why the poor South Africans are anti-fellow Africans or xenophobic?

The majority of black South African are not anti-Africans or xenophobic, nor Afrophobic. However the majority are living in extremely impoverished conditions.

The poor foreign nationals are victims of this harrowing scenario.

Who is to be blamed for xenophobic attacks?

The ANC lead government, Cosatu under the stewardship of Zwelinzima Vavi and white South African business must take the blame for this carnage.

During the negotiations, the ANC failed to address economic aspirations of the black majority, and instead focused on attaining only political power and government.

White business was left untouched .

Due to poor planning and consumer boycotts the white business could not access the black market prior 1994.

Black people were running their own informal businesses with no formal knowledge of business know-how.

On the eve of liberation we saw townships being invaded by big retail giants the likes of Shoprite.

These destroyed emerging small black businesses.

The white business had financial muscle, marketing, and access to credit facilities.

For example these white companies didn’t only bring their traditional products when entering township markets, they took completely overran small black entrepreneurs.

Today, giants like Shoprite and Spar sell anything from Amagwinya to cooked samp or umngqusho, and nobody makes a noise about it.

Amagwinya, and African dishes were normally sold from homes by aspirants woman business people, but also those whose wanted to put food on the table.

The notion that foreign national are hardworking and black South Africans are lazy its blue lie, perpetuated by the ruling elite to create an impression that foreign nationals are better than the locals.

This notion benefits the ruling elite to create a divide among the poor.

Our women and mothers are now relegated to survivalists, instead of the enterprising business people they were.

This perpetuates the violence we see today, because markets that used to benefit prior to 1994 are still protected.

We have seen how people survived under apartheid, we have heard the stories of highly trained foreign nationals with scientific and mathematic skills working as unskilled labourers and car guards.

Even those that are running small spazza shops in the townships and stands on the streets of South African towns do not necessarily make it big.

They survive because of their understanding of the economics of scale, but in general there is nothing for them in the real business world.

Cosatu’s role was not clearly defined post-1994.

This was due to its alliance with the governing ANC.

This resulted in many Cosatu leaders hopping into bed with business, both private and state, government as minister and members of parliaments.

Vavi also became a capitalist by night and unionist by day, via his wife.

This has weakened many trade unions who lost the focus regarding the protection of worker rights.

Union members became so vulnerable and white employers had a field day victimizing their employees.

By 1999, in a case involving Numsa members and the employers, Volkswagen South Africa, more than 1300 workers lost their jobs due to collusion between union bosses and employee bosses.

Again, the white business exploited this division to the fullest.

They began victimizing workers in other sectors of the economy.

Unfair labour practices became rife in the labour market.

Workers became so defenceless there was little recourse for justice.

We need to forge unity between the unemployed and employed workers so that those that are in control of the means of production cannot play the poor against the poor.

Communities must also address economic issues and seek solutions to this challenge of xenophobia.

Don’t allow the ruling elite to perpetuate hatred amongst African people.

We should not be bound by abstract things like race and nationality; we must focus on the real and tangible.

What is there is that people from the African continent are landless and living in extremely poor conditions. We Can Do It!

Nyawula is cultural activist, contactable on 0731692703 or via email:

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