#PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement is making waves in South Africa. The group of activists are calling for government to put the needs of South Africans ahead of foreign nationals.
As part of their rolling mass action, on Friday they marched to the Gauteng Premier’s office to vent their frustration.
#PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement’s National Chairperson, Victoria Mamogobo, says the nationwide protests that South Africa has seen is a sign that the government is oblivious to the reality in the country.
Mamogobo was speaking outside Premier David Makhura’s office, where the various organisations under the #PutSouthAfrucansFirst banner, marched to submit a memorandum.
They called for a safer, cleaner and sustainable community.
The group says the South African government should deport all foreign nationals who have been in the country since 1994.
“It is unfortunate that we have to fight hard to force the government that we elected in power to represent us; we have to twist their arms using force in order for them to listen,” Mamogobo says.
“What kind of government is this that fails to protect its citizens and our country? What kind of government is this that doesn’t want to build a strong wall to protect its citizens?” she asks.
Mamogobo says migrants who have been neutralised should not be spared.
“They must go back home to fix their countries and fight their governments. Those who have a problem with this request are welcome to leave with foreigners. When they leave, because they will leave our country whether they like it or not, there shall not be peace in the Republic, for as long as foreigners are here,” says Mamogobo.
South African First (SAF) political party is among the organisations that are part of the #PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement.
Party president, Mario Khumalo, says he honoured the invitation to join the march because it is based on the national interest. Khumalo wants only the undocumented immigrants to be sent back to their countries of origin.
“The current situation in the country is very shaky, the level of unemployment in the country and a number of undocumented foreigners in this country. Our message is very clear. We need to have strict border regulations undocumented immigrants need to go back to their country; they have no legal bases to be here, with drugs young girls are getting prostituted by the very same people who come to the country undocumented we don’t know who this people are so we need to put the interests of South African citizens first,” says Khumalo.
He says the migrants have nothing to contribute to the South African economy.
“99% of the immigrants who are in South Africa are not even supposed to be here. They have illegal documents so how are they contributing to the economy.”
“How can they contribute to the economy of this country selling sweets on the streets? How are they paying tax? The only people who will add contribution to South Africa is people with scared skills, poor people should not come here. We already have poor people in South Africa,” says Khumalo.
Voice It In Action (VIIA) President Kgothatso Moloto was also part of the march. He says they are hoping that the government will put in the work to enforce the laws and avoid unnecessary violence.
“The government has neglected proper implementation of immigration laws, so we are here to request that the government start putting in the work to ensure that laws are enforced. When laws are not enforced, this create unnecessary violence and hatred, that should be stopped we shouldn’t be hating each other,” says Moloto.
Some of the issues highlighted in the memorandum include the tightening of the country’s borders and the use of healthcare facilities by illegal migrants. They say this leads to a shortage of medication, which then increases the country’s mortality rate.
A representative from the Premier’s office accepted the memorandum on Makhura’s behalf and promised to respond to the protestors’ demands within 14 days.
Some South Africans have slammed the group as xenophobic, saying they forget that various countries helped end apartheid and also housed activists who were exiled due to that regime’s oppressive laws.