Last weekend, about 500 local shop owners and community members marched to the local police station in Snake Park, Soweto, to show their dissatisfaction with the presence of foreign shops in the neighbourhood, and the governmentâ€
We South African shop owners are seen as xenophobic, but that is not true â€“ foreigners have always been here.
Our only problem is the way the government is handling their stay in the township.
We want the government to regulate their stay here. Take for instance, my shop. Itâ€
A common example is the way the PSL regulates their teams. Previously they noticed that a certain club has eight foreign players and only three South African players in the team. When national teams play against each other our squad suffers. This doesnâ€
We have many challenges. Foreign businessmen looking for rental properties target desperate women â€“ old women are easily attracted by the money they might receive for property rental every month.
Another myth is that these people buy in bulk â€“ itâ€
We are not fighting with foreign shop owners â€“ the government is the one putting us against each other. It
was wrong for the government to allow them to do as they please in the township.
The march on Saturday was aimed at the provincial government especially the MEC for economic development. We have several demands: we want land, funding, and the protection of small business among other things.
Minister Lindiwe Zulu came here a while back and promised to send a task team, but we have a problem with that as the task team does not listen to what we have to say. Instead they tell us, which is wrong. We will be having another meeting with government soon to deal with these issues.