South Africans trend #PutSouthAfricansFirst at the moment. Many people seem critical of EFF’s stance of Pan Africanism. Supported by the ATM party, Herman Mashaba pushes the agenda through his organisation, The People’s Dialogue. But he acknowledges issues with illegal immigrants.
South Africans experience leaking borders
South Africa has over 4,000 kilometres of border to patrol, a task too great for the defence force. Mashaba states that he pushes no anti-African agenda. However, it angers him that so many foreign Nationals gain employment while South African citizens struggle to support their families.
Many South Africans support foreigners entering the country. However, they feel sidelined by the number of illegal foreigners in employment. They want equal opportunity and suggest employers exploit foreigners who work for low wages.
Governments protect citizens jobs
World wide, governments protect their citizen’s jobs. In Zimbabwe, no one hires a foreigner, unless absolutely necessary. In fact, thorough legislation in place via the Immigration department prevents easily employing too many non-residents. And, the repercussions for employing uncleared foreigners results in harsh enforcement.
Premium Times Nigeria reported in 2018, that Buhari signed legislation making it illegal for anyone other than Nigerians to work in their country. South Africans ask why our government fails in adopting a similar stance.
According to the International Monetary Fund, unemployment in South Africa expects to reach 35% before the end of 2020. It seems that many xenophobic attacks occur through frustration over unemployment. There’s a perception that the government makes no efforts to curb either crime or illegal employment and South Africans accuse foreigners of bolstering crime.
9.500 foreign workers requested by mines
An article by Reuters reveals an approach to the Health Department by the mining industry with a specific request for the return of 9,500 miners. All of them represent foreign nationals from Mozambique and Lesotho. This sort of thing only adds to frustrations felt by South Africans.
Julius Malema called for Pan Africanism in his Black Lives Matter speech on 8th June. Actress Pearl Thusi agrees, Times Live noted. She defends foreigners, citing that the borders are colonial. Therefore they should be ignored. Ironically, they are.
Tweeters worry about “no jobs” for their children and grandchildren. One asks why South Africa provides work for people “free of colonial rule for decades?” She says, “We didn’t even enjoy our country” after being freed from Apartheid.
#PutSouthAfricansFirst current and on-point
Employers defend hiring foreigners. Prior to COVID-19, a restaurant owner claimed he advertised waiter and kitchen staff positions regularly. He insists the only calls he ever receives come from foreigners. Business Live noted in May, that the “dominance of foreign workers in some sectors of the economy worries many.”
Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi acknowledged that many employers preferred hiring foreign workers. He noted that an area of concern focuses on “exploiting cheap labour.” The department suggests a quota. But, some foreign nationals already legally live in the country. They shouldn’t be excluded from quotas. In their editorial, the outlet suggested that “immigration authorities” should address the illegal workers, and not the “labour department.”
Actually, that approach seems workable in Zimbabwe already.
#PutSouthAfricansFirst trending’s relevant because it’s current, on-point. and reflects the desperation felt by many South African citizens.
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