Informal Traders Alliance condemns attacks on foreign traders
The South African Informal Traders Alliance (Saita) has called on the police to monitor attacks on foreign traders and maintain a presence in affected areas until the situation returns to normal.
“We are also calling on government to explore, in consultation with Saita, new measures and laws to discourage such acts of violence against our foreign-based brothers and sisters,” said Saita president Rosheda Muller.
Saita, representing informal traders, micro business and traders' organisations, said it had noted attacks against certain sections of street trading communities.
Police and metro police responded to violent clashes in the Durban CBD on Monday in which some businesses were petrol-bombed. Foreigners were also attacked on Sunday in the Soldiers Way Market trading precinct.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) condemned the attacks and said they were unlawful and unfairly discriminatory.
“We wish to categorically condemn such violence against fellow traders, and call upon the perpetrators to cease these senseless acts of criminality. Saita in no way supports or condones them and never will,” Muller said.
Muller called on all traders to display tolerance and patience.
“Whether you are from SA or from anywhere in Africa, or elsewhere, we all trade in the informal business sector. We are one family facing the same challenges.”
Saita extended heartfelt condolences to families of those who lost their lives in attacks.
“We pray that those whose stocks and infrastructure were stolen or damaged will soon recover and resettle with a sense of security on the markets again.”