We will never waver in our commitment to prioritise the needs of South Africans

By: Gayton McKenzie*

I was spending the evening in Alexandra with friends the night the xenophobic attacks began in 2008, which I don’t mention to people when they tell me about it as though I may never have heard of xenophobic violence. It was terrifying and I don’t want violence.

But I don’t think the answer to preventing more violence is to just ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

Nowadays you get told that if you say anything critical about the presence of illegal foreigners or the things many of them are known to get up to here, then it will be on your head if anything bad were to happen to them. “You are guilty of incitement.”

Oh, okay. But in this way, people are also dissuaded from exploring the issue and seeking the truth about it.

Let’s get real. The people who would rather not be critical of border control and the movement of migrants into South Africa are often the same ones who are not feeling the pain of it.

If you can go to a private hospital, and not stand in a queue for hours while waiting for Zimbabweans, Malawians, Somalians, Nigerians, Congolese, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and whoever else to be served and treated before you, then maybe we don’t need to hear your “informed” opinions about “xenophobia”.

If you are not the one trying to get a job as a waiter, a gardener, a truck driver, a security guard, a construction worker, a miner, tiler or delivery driver, then maybe we don’t need to hear your “informed” opinions about “xenophobia”.

If the piece of land that you were meant to receive your RDP house on can’t now be used because it has been invaded by hundreds of people from other countries, then maybe we don’t need to hear your “informed” opinions about “xenophobia”.

If you’re struggling to get your child into your preferred school because the foreigners are packing it to the rafters with their kids, then maybe we don’t need to hear your “informed” opinions about “xenophobia”.

If you are doing your shopping by driving to a Woolworths, or having any supermarket chain deliver it to your door within one hour of using your credit card online, then maybe we don’t need to hear your “informed” opinions about “xenophobia”.

For some of you, the only interaction you may have with an illegal foreigner is when he delivers your food.

One of the things you don’t hear all these “informed” people talking about is the bitter taste it must leave in the mouth of a South African whose parents and grandparents suffered and endured through colonialism and apartheid for a better tomorrow, only to have to now compete with illegal foreigners who are willing to continue to be exploited like their parents and grandparents were.

Is that what people struggled and died for?

I know that not all foreigners come here to be exploited, but to pretend that many of them are not willing to do much more for less reward would also be naive.

I don’t blame only the foreigners. We have to blame government. The ANC needs to wake up to the fact that just because struggle fighters were allowed to go into exile in a handful of African countries, it doesn’t make this country obligated to repay that as a lifelong bond, and at the cost of the lives of young South Africans.

We now have youth unemployment of more than 70%. It’s a catastrophe. Yes, this government and our society at large has not done enough to create jobs and grow this economy. That’s true. But charity must still begin at home.

The PA will never waver on its commitment to prioritise the needs of South Africans. A parent isn’t judged as a bad parent if the neighbour’s kids go hungry. A bad parent lets their own kids starve. And that is what our government has been doing to our own people now for decades.

Let’s not write Africa off, though, and pretend we’re not part of it. I would never promote that. That’s because South Africa, as the most developed economy in Africa, should be taking a leading role in investing and growing the economies of other African states, for the good of this whole continent and the future prosperity of all Africans. But the answer cannot be that a Malawian must now become the preferred choice for lawn trimming in Bryanston.

It’s very easy for critics to say that Gayton McKenzie is merely spouting populist anti-foreigner rhetoric in an attempt to gain votes. It’s too easy to say that. It becomes much less easy to say that when you actually are Gayton McKenzie and have gone into the communities where the votes come from and when you actually see the reality of people’s lives.

I’m saying these things not because I feel like it, or I want to. I have to.

We can’t just say “oh, leave it to government to sort out” when officials at Home Affairs allow foreigners from countries with no repression, like Malawi of all places, to buy refugee status, and when border officials live off bribes and the system of deportation itself has all but broken down.

Communities feel angry, frustrated and hopeless at the situation of foreign nationals who have taken over the informal shops in their communities. They seem to have the police in their pockets because reported crimes are never prosecuted or even followed up on. The violence and abuse they themselves become guilty of are often under-reported.

Research released by Trade Intelligence in December last year revealed that 95% of informal shops are now owned and operated by foreign nationals. Their operations are syndicated and highly organised. New shops are opened regularly, manned by a new foreign national. It’s well known how they have formed buying groups, but they often also buy expired stock at significantly reduced prices and illegally tamper with products to water down their quality.

This causes health issues in communities that already have serious illness and limited healthcare options.

The foreigner-owned shops in townships do not employ South Africans because South Africans are protected by labour laws and are not going to work 16-hour days. They use their profits to pave the way for more poor people from their home country to travel into South Africa and pay the border-post bribes. They focus their energy on where the poorest of the poor live, to make hundreds of thousands from the Sassa grants our people have become dependent on to survive.

But they do not create jobs for locals and they do not pay taxes. Their conduct is in breach of several Competition Act provisions and the Consumer Protection Act. If a corporate such as Pick n Pay were to tamper with goods, sell expired stock and drop prices below cost to squeeze out the opposition, they would be condemned by the media, boycotted and given massive fines by the relevant tribunals. If they didn’t pay taxes they would be jailed. If they failed to employ South Africans and refused to abide by our labour laws, they would be shut down. Why then are we called upon to allow illegal foreigner-controlled syndicates to get away with it?

What they are doing is not a mystery to government and the police. It seems only the middle and upper classes of South Africa are ignorant of the reality, perhaps because they mistakenly believe they can afford to be.

When we campaigned as the PA, we made all South Africans a promise that we would draw attention to this issue and make it a national talking point. We promised that we would lobby at all levels to get the relevant government departments to properly apply the laws of the land and to put South Africans first. We’re doing that now. The PA keeps its promises.

There is so much more that needs to be said, but I didn’t come here to write a book about illegal migration.

Suffice it to say that people are waking up.

Even our slumbering government is smelling the salts and waking up.

Already we can see the labour minister is responding. We are sure we shall all see much-needed change soon. Illegal immigrants must be sent home. The free-for-all days in SA are coming to an end, but it must of course be managed within the parameters of the law, even if it first means we need to change and update some of those laws.

Deportations must be ramped up. The deportation drive will, conveniently, also create thousands of jobs for South Africans, who will need to be properly trained and equipped to work systematically every day in what will ultimately have to be one of the biggest programmes of getting our house in order ever undertaken by the South African state.

You can say what you will, but I’m not going to stop saying it: Put South Africans first.


*Gayton McKenzie is the president of the Patriotic Alliance (PA)

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P.A. for REAL change in South Africa.

Vincent Mhlongo

I do acknowledge that there is a challenge in our neighboring countries but trying to help foreigners by giving them jobs which were supposed to go to South Africans is a big mistake. When the ANC.government introduced the Zimbabwe Special Permit there was no consultation and after those permits the ANC did not pressurize The Zimbabwe gorvement. They were afraid to irritate ZANU and that led to ZANU feeling relieved because they did not have the problem of creating jobs as Zimbabweans were working in.south Africa. We cannot agree on the EFF proposal as it favors foreigners in our country. Open border policy is a no no .


The anc cannot even help their own ppl I raised a concern when Riaan Cloete the x mayor of nama khoi now councilor his building a tavern in a already struggling community and where Alcohol and drugs is taking over kids as young as 10 is using and 1 of his friend replied hukm help j ni dai armsalige mense ni 😡wish I cud I wud I do try

Lucky Campbell

This is so true.The upper class and middle class is not affected because they do not have these Illegal shops in there suburbian areas.
I wish so these shops could be opened in these affluent areas and see there reactions as this will never happen. So it’s fine that it happens in the townships, while the upper and middle class can comment from afar of and calls it xenophobic incitement, when we say put South Africa first. They so far from the reality as long as they aee safe in there high fenced buildings.

They government must wake and see that the people are getting fed up,while they dragging there feet with these issues. They are ignorant and think this thing will work itself out.That is how most uprisings start when they ignore the plight of the people and get shocked when things happened.

I have been saying for years that these issues are slowly coming into play.We have a passive government like our President who leads by letting things playout,those days of leadership is over.
You cannot have a country where unemployment is coming to 40% ,covid 19, failed state,corruption and have so many Illegal immigrants and Business in our country and expecting people to just go on with p⁹there normal business.
You just need one light to this toxic situation and chaos will take place.

I pray daily that our Government stop being ignorant to see what is happening.
President Ramaphosa ,please wake and see that we becoming a failed State.
#PutSouthAfricaFirst we are not Xenophobic ,please take care of your citizens first.
We love South Africa ,let it not go to waste.

Our communities and people are crying for help.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lucky Campbell
George Diergaardt

Agreed to it, our current circumstances is in and on the current government that is to corrupt they even allow the bad instead of putting South Africans first.

Nonhlanhla Makhubu

Nicely represented, this is only the bugging we as South Africans we commit to mobilise our communities to join the relevant initiatives who put South African First especially the mashrooming informal settlements, there’s a mass deportation waiting to be done.

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