The chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police‚ Francois Beukman‚ has condemned blatant threats against foreign spaza shop owners in Durban’s northern townships by their local counterparts.
It was reported that the Northern Region Business Association had instructed foreign spaza shop owners in a letter to “close down your shop and cease all operations within 14 days”.
“It is unacceptable that such letters are distributed as they have undertones of xenophobic sentiments that resulted in numerous deaths during the 2015 xenophobic attacks. The Constitution’s Bill of Rights is applicable to everyone within the borders of the country and such letters fall foul of the provisions of the Constitution‚” Beukman said.
The committee welcomed the intervention by the provincial government in quelling the simmering tensions in the area. The committee urged police to remain on high alert to ensure that the situation was kept under control.
Furthermore‚ the Crime Intelligence Unit must work hard to gather information that would ensure that such threats were crushed before they were implemented‚ it said.
Local shop owners have accused foreigners of putting them out of business.