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Xenephobia rears its ugly head in Kleinmond again

The situation in Kleinmond is calm yet tense after xenephobic threats were made last week.

On Saturday 3 February a meeting with the community was called by Masizole Mnqasela, the DA’s Overstrand constituency head and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), to calm the situation after demands that illegal foreigners leave the area surfaced.

“This is a known South African problem; there is no control over our borders and there is a lack of enforcement by the immigration authorities,” says Mnqasela.

According to Ayanda Tyulu, a community activist, the community is very angry, tensions are high and they want the illegal foreigners gone. “They are taking job opportunities from South Africans,” said Tyulu.

On Monday 4 February another meeting was called in Kleinmond between councillors, community activists, the Hangklip-Kleinmond Business Chamber and other key role players to discuss the way forward.

The proposed suggestion of a minimum of up to 30% of legal foreign workforce in the work-place and 70% of local employees in the work place was made. “This is a proposed suggestion to ease the situation,” explained Mnqasela.

“There are South Africans working in other countries; it would not be fair for those legal national foreigners not to obtain jobs. Not all employers employ illegal foreign nationals. There are employees who have legal documents and work permits.”

This proposal was met with mixed reactions.

Tyulu says there are some members of the community who are satisfied with the 30% to 70% employment ratio in the workplace. He, however, says many people in the community are still angry.

Mnqasela says it was also agreed that the Department of Labour and Home Affairs will start to monitor local businesses to ensure that employees that are foreign nationals, have valid work permits.

“Our resolve is to find a peaceful, workable and lasting solution to our current situation,” explained Mnqasela.

A meeting for all businesses and community organisations will take place on Monday 11 February in Proteadorp Community Hall.

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