Kagiso - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has commended the community of Kagiso in Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg, for protecting shops owned by foreign nationals from being looted.
Over the past weeks, a number of shops owned by foreign nationals have been looted in a wave of violence directed at foreign nationals. Most incidents of looting were reported in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Minister Gigaba, accompanied by government officials and members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), visited some of the shops owned by foreign nationals in Kagiso on Thursday.
Minister Gigaba assured the shop owners that government will do everything in its power to protect the lives of people and property. He commended the locals for protecting the shops.
“We are happy with what is happening here and we want to communicate to South Africans what is happening here,” he said.
Minister Gigaba encouraged shop owners to participate in community activities as part of integrating foreign nationals and locals. “You must be part of the community and participate in their activities.”
Prior to visiting the shops, the Minister went to the local police station where he was briefed about the situation in the area. Police say there have been fewer incidents of looting reported compared with the spate of violence in January.
The Minister also appealed to locals to work with the police by providing them with information.
One of the shop owners, Tefera Nunmlo from Ethiopia, told SAnews that he was grateful for what the community was doing for them.
Nunmlo, who has been in the country for four years, said his shop was only looted once in January this year.
Another shop owner, Akter Ujzamaj from Bangladesh, told SAnews that he was grateful for the gesture of the locals.
Like Nunmlo, his shop was looted once in January.
“I feel good for what people are doing for us,” he said.
Ujzamaj has been in the country for the past three years.
Minister Gigaba also encouraged foreign nationals to have their documentation in order at all times.
Local community member Jabu Masombuka said the community felt they should take it upon themselves to protect the shops.
“They are our brothers and sisters and we felt we should protect them,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za