Premier David Makhura met with scores of foreign traders affected by the recent Soweto looting spree. The meeting held in Mayfair on Saturday was attended by the representatives of the Somali, Bangladeshi and Ethiopian communities who have been displaced due to the looting and vandalism of their shops in Soweto.
Addressing a full to capacity hall of anxious foreign shop owners, Premier Makhura emphasised that Gauteng welcomes all law abiding nationals and stated that the looting was as a result of criminality and not xenophobia.
“We need you to be organised. Formalise your businesses so that you can contribute to paying tax and cooperate with local businesses in order to share skills. We commit that the police will continue to protect you, and you should not seek revenge and break the law” said Premier Makhura.
On Friday, January 23, Premier Makhura, Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo, MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile, MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, City of Joburg Mayor Parks Tau and MMCs undertook an onsite assessment of several businesses in Soweto ravaged by the attacks and held a public meeting with residents at the Doornkop Hall in Dobsonville. During the dialogue with residents, community members cited poverty and youth unemployment as the main causes of the ongoing criminal activities.
The top government representatives appealed for calm and called for community involvement in fighting against the existing criminal elements.
“We want our townships to be vibrant places of economic activity, and that is why we are advancing the Township Revitalisation programme, said Premier Makhura.”
Premier Makhura also committed to returning to Dobsonville in a month’s time to address the concerns raised by the residents during the meeting.
The violence was sparked by the shooting of a teenager allegedly by a foreign shop owner on Monday. Since the break out of the sporadic looting incidents, which has resulted in the death of four people, including an 18 month old baby in Kagiso, the following interventions have been put in place:
In Kagiso, 54 police vehicles have been deployed with 120 law enforcement personnel, in addition to the normal policing personnel in the area
In Soweto, 113 additional police and 51 vehicles are maintaining a heavy presence
At least 160 people have been arrested
Ten illegal firearms belonging to foreign nationals have been confiscated.
For more information contact:
Tel: 011 355 6009
Cell: 083 473 6725
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS