Zimbos are workers – Mdladlana

de_dooorns_displacedCAPE TOWN - It has been a crazy time in De Doorns with the faces of evil politicians and the self-righteous municipality, completely neglecting to act on the instigators of last years xenophobic violence.

It has been difficult being surrounded by the same attitude we are victims to in Zimbabwe, one of absolute indifference from leaders. But this past week we were embraced and reassured that the government in South Africa and the ANC was not afraid to deal with culprits.

The head of the ANC provincial task team and the minister of labour, Membathisi Mdladlana, despite the continued allegations laid against us in attempts to discredit us, called us to a private meeting. He was a great host and made it clear from our arrival that he was not trying to silence us.

He offered reassurance by stating that in his job he sees workers, not Zimbabweans or South Africans. He listened carefully to our concerns and committed himself to dealing with the bad elements within the ANC structures that are involved in the labour brokering (spanners) and the councillor involved in the xenophobia.

He made it clear that he felt great compassion towards the Zimbabwean people and that he aims to reduce additional burdens on the asylum seeker population, such as difficulties in claiming UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund).

We were truly convinced that he will try his level best to equalise the labour market and encourage unity among all labourers. He will be holding several meetings and we eagerly await the outcome of his efforts, but we also were reminded that there are numerous of major stake holders- the Zimbabwean department of Labour, MDC, Zanu (PF), the South African and Zimbabwean departments of Home Affairs and the IOM to name a few.

All of these stake holders will have a direct effect on the situation Zimbabweans working in South Africa face and thus we do not expect a sudden change but rather we believe a process is beginning. However, the situation or attitude in De Doorns we expect to change immediately so that things may be rapidly resolved for the 1400 displaced Zimbabweans.

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