Union urges SA to shelter immigrants

sa_police_burning_shackJOHANNESBURG South Africas municipal labour union last week called on President Jacob Zumas government to immediately provide shelter to more than 2 500 Zimbabweans left destitute by last weeks xenophobic attacks in informal settlements near Cape Town. (Pic

The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) an affiliate of the countrys powerful labour movement, COSATU also urged government to take urgent measures to guarantee protection to all Zimbabweans in the Western Cape province and consider xenophobia a serious human rights challenge facing the country.

We demand that government at all levels aligns itself with the victims of xenophobia, and takes urgent measures to ensure that they are properly cared for, with respect and dignity, SAMWUs Western Cape provincial secretary Andre Adams said.

We urge government not to see the victims as a problem that they hope will simply disappear but as a human rights challenge demanding fair treatment, and to lead by example in making sure that safe and appropriate accommodation is found for them, SAMWU added.

Violence against foreign nationals flared up in De Doorns near Cape Town following tensions over seasonal jobs. Locals accused the foreigners from Zimbabwe as well as some Lesotho nationals of accepting lower wages and robbing them of seasonal jobs in the grape farming area.

We must unambiguously condemn the actions of those who have sought to attack and blame Zimbabwean migrant workers and refugees for the poverty they face, SAMWU said, adding that victimising another section of the oppressed is not the way to build class unity.

It simply plays into the hands of those who profit from exploitation, and in this case the farmers who pay barely more than starvation wages, and the labour brokers they deploy to do their dirty work for them.

SAMWU also called for concerted efforts by government at all levels to ensure that the poor no longer continue to be marginalized and urged all migrant workers in South Africa to join the various labour movements in the country.

Post published in: Politics

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