Xeno­pho­bic protesters give voice to ci­ti­zens’ mis­ery

CityPress - - Voices - Nku­l­uleko Zondi Gaut­eng

The re­cent xeno­pho­bic at­tacks by South Africans on fel­low African ci­ti­zens is a cause for con­cern on govern­ment’s part. Un­called for and im­moral as these at­tacks may be, the demonstrators are voic­ing the frus­tra­tions felt by or­di­nary peo­ple to­wards our govern­ment as it con­tin­u­ally re­frains from ad­dress­ing so­cioe­co­nomic is­sues such as teenage preg­nancy, high lev­els of drug abuse, and high crime and un­em­ploy­ment rates.

These demon­stra­tions are not a symp­tom of a dis­ease. They are a can­cer that shows that those in power do not take to heart the well­be­ing of South Africa’s no­ble ci­ti­zens, who are fed up with hear­ing about mis­lead­ing yearly sta­tis­tics on job cre­ation and job op­por­tu­ni­ties, while their lives re­main mis­er­able.

South Africa’s poor ci­ti­zens are not stupid peo­ple – they know that it is them who Steve Biko spoke about when he wrote: “It is the poor peo­ple who use un­tarred roads, have to walk long dis­tances, and there­fore ex­pe­ri­ence the great­est wear and tear on com­modi­ties like shoes.”

They also know that par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and those in govern­ment re­serve job op­por­tu­ni­ties for their friends and fam­i­lies.

I was pre­vi­ously em­ployed in the restau­rant in­dus­try at a large fast food chain as a crew mem­ber and I can at­test that 90% of the com­pany’s store man­agers in the Gaut­eng re­gion are Zim­bab­weans, and 75% of their as­sis­tants are also Zim­bab­weans. So, for­eign peo­ple aren’t tak­ing any peo­ple’s jobs?

The most sad­den­ing thing is that cor­po­rate in­sti­tu­tions em­ploy for­eign na­tion­als be­cause they can pay them peanuts and ex­ploit them as they wouldn’t be able to do to South Africans.

They pres­sure for­eign na­tion­als into cut­ting labour costs by in­struct­ing them to cut em­ployee’s work hours, which neg­a­tively af­fects their wages.

So why is it that we say black South Africans are back­ward when they loathe fel­low Africans?

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