WATCH | Dudula Movement members clash with immigrants and business owners in Alexandra
Businesses forced to close doors as members of Dudula Movement community organisation threaten to close shops employing foreign workers
Several businesses in Alexandra had to close their doors after community members, who identified themselves as part of the Dudula Movement, forced shops to close their doors.
The Dudula Movement is a separate community organisation to Operation Dudula, which has held protest marches against foreign workers.
The community members were allegedly searching for migrant employees and shop owners who did not have valid paperwork.
The SABC's Chriselda Lewis reported that several people were injured during a confrontation between migrants and residents. The Sowetan also reported this, though the number of those injured is not clear.
#OperationDudula supporters in Alexandra in a tense confrontation with foreign nationals who are street vendors today as they resist eviction from the streets. Some have been injured during the altercation as locals vow to stop illegal immigrants from operating. pic.twitter.com/wuJ2uSPH5v— Siviwe Feketha (@SiviweFeketha) March 7, 2022
After the clash, several shops closed their doors. It is not clear how community members identified who is undocumented.
Alexandra councillor for ward 116 Adolph Marema said there was growing unhappiness in the community.
“Residents feel aggrieved that there is a majority of non-documented foreign nationals who are participating in economic activities when they are supposed to be the ones that are benefiting. There is a pushback, seeing that government is not doing anything about it, the law enforcement agencies are becoming spectators to the situation and now there is a clash between [South Africans] and the brothers from neighbouring countries,” he said.
“The situation is bad, the word bad is an understatement. The ignorance of government and the law makers who are parliamentarians in dealing with the issues, they are actually dismissing and excusing the issue instead of attending to the issues and this becomes a problem.”
He said government needs to find a way to subsidise South Africans in their businesses.
“You can’t have a mall full of shops and they are owned by people not even staying in Alex, it's wrong ... There is a level of people saying that they agree that foreign nationals who are not documented must be pushed out, but it must be done within the ambit of the law.”
#OperationDudula supporters at the Alexandra magistrate court, singing anti-immigrants chants as they insist that they will take their "cleanup" to the township. The police are keeping a distant presents from the group as they monitor the situation. @SowetanLIVE pic.twitter.com/waXigAKPUo— Siviwe Feketha (@SiviweFeketha) March 7, 2022
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