Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release 06 July 2009
On the 1st of July 2009, local business and Somali shopkeepers began implementation of preliminary aspects of the deal sought to ease xenophobic tensions between the two groups. The joint committee with the support of the Anti-Eviction Campaign distributed copies of the deal to all shops in the area. Shopkeepers then began to move their shops at least 100 meters away from one another – the deadline for this action being the end of July.
On Wednesday, the 8th of July at 15h30, the AEC will mediate a follow-up mass meeting of local businesses and Somali shopkeepers.
In addition, the local and provincial ministries of economics and tourism added proposals to provide skills training scholarships to a paltry 23 local businesspeople throughout the entire Western Cape. Local in Gugulethu have rejected this proposal as insulting and merely a PR campaign by government.
While this agreement has so far been successful in easing tensions for the time-being, the root of xenophobia in the Western Cape is not the inability of local businesses to compete. Rather, it is the cutthroat competition and dehumanising nature of South Africa’s economy placing subsidised corporations at the centre of all government development plans.
Amidst all this, a few individuals are playing politics with people’s lives and attempting to renew tensions by pushing local businesses to continue to call for the removal of all Somalians from the townships.
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign will fight all attempts by individuals and/or political organisations who are fermenting further poor-on-poor violence and pogroms for their own political gains.For more information, contact Mncedisi at 078-580-8646 Also for comment on the negotiations, contact Mr. Tsengiwe of the joint committee at 083-502-4692