Cape Town, most xenophobic city-Survey
By Hassan Isilow
In the past most foreign nationals preferred to live and work in the Western Cape because of the province’s renowned hospitality, but a new survey indicates that things have changed. The survey conducted by Pondering Panda was aimed at finding out how South Africans felt about foreigners running small Shops or (spazas) in the country.
According to Butch Rice, spokesperson for the research company, they interviewed 5,641 adult South African nationals from different demographic groups. 46% of respondents agreed that foreigners should be allowed to operate spaza shops while 44% were against foreigners running businesses with 10% being undecided. The majority of respondents in the Western Cape reportedly objected to the idea of foreigners running businesses, followed by the North West province.
Rice said poorer communities were most opposed to foreign businesses compared to the wealthier communities. The research also found that men were more opposed to foreigners running businesses compared to females. “About 48% of men felt that foreign run spazas should be stopped, compared to 40% of women,” said Rice.
Older people also responded negatively towards foreign owned businesses, compared to younger people. “About 54% of those aged 35 years and older were negatively disposed, compared to 43% of those aged between 18 and 24. Negative perceptions were uniform across racial groups,” the research stated. Rice added that the findings of this survey corroborate that SA was facing a very real threat of xenophobia.
Meanwhile, the attacks on foreigners continue in the Western Cape with an 18 year old Somali shopkeeper being shot and killed in Cape Town two weeks ago. In another incident, a 41 year old Somali truck driver was shot in Delft last week. Elsewhere in Mitchells Plain foreign shop owners found their spaza shops attacked with petrol bombs in what researchers say was a new trend that saw gangs extorting protection money from foreign shopkeepers.