Media: Deal aims to stop xenophobia

20 08 2009

2009-08-19 15:38:40 – Voice of the Cape

Local and Somali shopkeepers on Tuesday signed a landmark deal which is expected t bring peace between the two side that were at loggerheads for several months due to competition and business rivalry. It is hoped that the deal that was signed on Tuesday would help to avert xenophobia-related violence in Gugulethu, Philippi and Samora Machel. Both groups have agreed that this deal is meant to be a blueprint for other small businesses in other communities and will help them prevent a repeat of last year’s xenophobic pogroms.
According to Mncedisi Twalo of the Anti Eviction Campaign, the joint committee sign the deal after months of community meetings and sometimes tense negotiations. He said both groups singed the deal which is meant to serve as an example to other communities where similar disagreements do exist.

On June 19, the AEC called the local traders and Somali shopkeepers to a meeting where the two parties agreed to elect an interim committee which would work to ensure that the interests of both parties were protected. “This committee includes elected members from the South African local traders and members from the Somali shopkeepers association,” Twalo told VOC News.

He said the interim committee was formed after a series of attacks on Somali traders which led to the forceful closure of over 10 Somali owned shops in Guguletu, Phillipi, Samora Machel and Langa. Twalo expressed delight at the deal, but declined to reveal details of the deal to the media.

“As mediators, Anti-Eviction Campaign activists are working to release the document to all affected parties. In the next week, this document will be made available to members of the public and relevant stakeholders and will also be posted for download on our website,” Twalo said.

“Until then, it is important to note that latent tension will remain until government gets its act together and ends its anti-poor policies which subsidise large businesses like Spar, Shoprite and Pick n’ Pay.  We would also like to note that the deal was signed with support of a UN representative but despite the near complete absence of support from City, Provincial or National government even though they were invited to participate,” he added. VOC (Hasan Isilow)




One response

27 08 2009

We are also experiencing the same problem in the Free state but we have already taken upon ourselves to solve the problem we have an Association called the Mangaung business Owners that looks after the interests of the local business owners. so anyone in the Free state can contact us on 078 317 8543 or 079 508 3161an we would also like to meet the group tasked with the agreement deal in Cape Town.

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