President Jacob Zuma holds successful stakeholder meeting
President Jacob Zuma today, 22 April 2015, convened a meeting of stakeholders in South Africa in the wake of attacks against foreign nationals, to discuss migration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
The President convened the meeting to discuss the country’s migration policy and discuss how various sectors can work with government to promote orderly migration and good relations between citizens and other nationals.
The meeting was attended by various stakeholders from government, business, sports, trade union movement, religious leaders, community formations, youth formations, children, disabled persons, traditional authorities, arts and sports fraternities.
The meeting began by observing a moment of silence for the seven people who lost their lives as a result of the recent attacks against foreign nationals in our country as well as the sad passing of the soccer legend John “Shoes” Moshoeu.
The meeting reaffirmed that the overwhelming majority of South Africans, including leaders attending the meeting that they are not xenophobic. The meeting was unanimous in its condemnation and rejection of the attacks against foreign nationals.
In his opening remarks, President Zuma outlined some of the concerns from South Africans about some foreign nationals, which include among others crime, unfair business practices, drugs, and influx of illegal foreign nationals.
The President further emphasised that these attacks are impacting negatively on South Africa’s reputation. They have also occurred at the time when our country will be hosting the World Economic Forum and the African Union Summit in June 2015.
“These attacks are not a small matter, nor it is a matter for government alone but for all of us as South Africans. We don’t need another occurrence of these attacks in our country” said President Zuma.
The President also briefed the meeting on the measures undertaken by government since the attacks started and progress that has been made. The meeting commended the visible leadership that government has displayed since the start of the attacks.
The meeting acknowledged that there are genuine concerns raised by South Africans and should be taken seriously. However, there is not justification for these attacks.
All stakeholders pledged their support for the initiative by the President to call the meeting and thanked him for the demonstrable leadership he has shown. All sectors committed themselves to be part of the solution.
The meeting which was represented by about 40 organisations, had discussions and made practical suggestions on what, as a collective, stakeholders should do to address the challenges.
The meeting received the following inputs;
The meeting suggested that government should convene a colloquium where all stakeholders should have a discussion and find out what are the real causes of these attacks and find solutions.
The business sector has pledged to develop a plan of action which will see the sector also speaking out against attacks. The business sector further announced that it will be funding a campaign which will continue to reverse the negativity.
South Africa must consider a major campaign involving all stakeholders called “Bill of Responsibilities” which is intended to educate young people about what it means to be South African.
Government should consider establishing inspectors who can go out to inspect and investigate all the shops in the country in the rural areas, townships and cities. Government should also consider looking very closely to the movement of goods coming into the country and ultimately into the “spaza” shops in our communities.
A committee formed out of the Inter-Ministerial Committee including all sectors to find solutions to the challenges that have been identified.
The sports fraternity has also committed to use the sporting events they will be hosting to condemn these attacks and call for unity with fellow Africans.
Government should, drawing lessons for the South African National Aids Council (SANAC), consider forming a similar structure to address challenges of drug abuse in our country.
The South African Youth Council will convene a meeting of the youth sector in Pretoria tomorrow, 23 April 2015, to formulate a youth response to the attacks.
The meeting concluded that it couldn’t guarantee that these attacks will not happen again, unless urgent solutions are found to address genuine concerns that are raised by South Africans.
The meeting further agreed overwhelmingly in conclusion that the attacks must stop and that all South Africans must be part of the solution.
President Zuma welcomed the inputs and said they were very helpful and would be used by government in formulating the response of the country as a whole. The President further thanked all the stakeholders for attending the meeting.
The meeting decided to form a committee comprising of representatives of all stakeholders who will work with the Inter-Ministerial Committee announced by the President to take discussions of the meeting forward.
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SOURCE: South African Official News