Pretoria - Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has met with residents of Block X in Soshanguve to engage the community on ways to end attacks on foreign nationals.
“We are here as part of the South African government to come and re-emphasise that we condemn any form of senseless killings and attacks on our brothers and sisters of African origin,” said Minister Mokonyane on Thursday.
The meeting with the residents was part of government’s outreach programme aimed at getting to the root cause of attacks on foreign nationals.
“Of importance for us is that we stamp out this form of criminality. We must take over our streets, we must know who our neighbours are,” said the Minister.
Minister Mokonyane urged communities to form street committees and to see to it that ward committees work effectively.
During the course of her interaction, the Minister reminded the community that many African countries helped in South Africa’s attainment of democracy.
“All of us as South Africans must appreciate that our freedom came because many other countries fought for our liberation,” she said.
The Minister said a long-term solution must be found to prevent attacks from happening.
“We can’t allow a situation where all of us as South Africans are being branded as people who do not love our own African brothers and sisters,” she said.
The Minister said criminal elements were taking advantage of the situation. She urged communities to play a role in isolating criminal elements in their midst. “… We must expose them,” said the Minister.
She told those attending the gathering that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. She said people had to change their misperceptions that foreign nationals steal jobs belonging to locals.
“We can’t attack innocent people,” said the Minster, adding that the issue was not only for government to address but for society as a whole.
“We will win [the battle against attacks on foreign nationals]. It may not be an overnight exercise but it is better than what it was yesterday,” she said.
Jacob Ramaano said the attacks on foreign nationals were hurtful as those being targetted are fellow Africans. “These attacks are embarrassing. We as Africans need to unite and be one,” the 19-year-old told SAnews. – SAnews.gov.za