The South African Federation of Trade Unions condemns the violence and looting targeting foreign nationals in Soweto, and calls upon the government to do everything necessary to prevent any repeat of the xenophobic violence we have rennin recent years, which led to killings, assaults and massive destruction of property without a single conviction.
SAFTU calls on all workers and members of poor communities not to take out their understandable frustrations on people from other countries who have nothing to do with our crisis of mass unemployment, poverty, inequality, corruption and crime.
One the contrary they are our fellow victims of a capitalist system which condemns million to poverty while making the rich even richer by exploiting workers, consumers and small business people, regardless of their nationality or race.
Many migrant worker organisations attended the recent Working-Class Summit, representing both workers and informal traders, and the Summit resolved to stand firm on the long-standing principle of the labour movement to forge unity between the working class and the poor of all countries.
The trade unions must always fight against attempts by the ruling capitalist monopolies to divide and rule the workers movement by fomenting racism and xenophobia, which pits worker against worker and poor versus poor, which only benefits the ruling class which exploits us all.
SAFTU fully supports the campaign led by FAWU against the growth of trade in counterfeit products, goods which are being sold past their expiry date, and tax evasion, but demands that this be tackled by proper, impartial investigations by the relevant authorities, the employment of more government inspectors and the more rigorous enforcement of laws to protect consumers’ health and prevent tax dodging.
The inspections must however be conducted purely on the basis of law enforcement and with no bias based on the nationality of the owners of the businesses being inspected.
Working-class consumers, employees of legitimate producers and traders who abide by the law are all victims of these crimes and must be united in a strong but peaceful campaign to prosecute those who are guilty, but to be equally strong in opposing anyone who uses violence against immigrant workers and traders.
Workers of the world unite!