Municipalities urged to help foreign nationals displaced by violence in SA

04 September 2019 - 20:47
By Nonkululeko Njilo
A foreign national adds flames to a fire in the CBD, after a foreign owned shop was looted. The foreign community gathered weapons for protection.
Image: Alon Skuy A foreign national adds flames to a fire in the CBD, after a foreign owned shop was looted. The foreign community gathered weapons for protection.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has urged municipalities to be ready to provide shelter and temporary accommodation to displaced foreign nationals.

The association added its voice on Wednesday to a growing chorus condemning the recent violent incidents, attacks and looting that hit parts of Gauteng.

“As a voice of local government representing South Africa’s municipalities, SALGA is deeply concerned with the violence in Gauteng and wishes to categorically state that there is no justification for violence in a democratic state, irrespective of grievances that the perpetrators might have,” said the association in a statement.


Listen | What Police Minister General Bheki Cele plans to do about violent looting in Gauteng


In an attempt to demonstrate solidarity with displaced Africans, the association called on municipalities to “gear themselves up” to help the affected people.

“It is a role of local government to promote social cohesion and to foster nation-building to bind us together towards a common sense of identity and sense of belonging.

"Irrespective of structural challenges confronting South Africa, we must be willing to extend trust even to those we see as outsiders; respect one another, uphold each other’s dignity and to be moved to action in the face of persistent inequality on behalf of those who are marginalised,” the association said.

The violent protests, which began on Sunday, have led to the arrest of 289 people and claimed at least five lives, police confirmed on Wednesday.