Gauteng premier David Makhura on Saturday cautioned political leaders against making “reckless remarks” which generally characterised foreign nationals as criminals.
“Africans from all over the continent, those who have chosen our province as their home, we want you to contribute positively to the growth and development of Gauteng province. If you are a criminal, we must deal with you, whether you are a South African or an African from any other country. The first thing which defines you is that you are a criminal,” Makhura told an Africa Month celebrations event in Johannesburg.
“Criminals must be dealt with [but] we must not criminalise a nationality. A criminal is a criminal, whether it is a Nigerian or a South African, that criminal belongs in jail. I want to warn those that keep criminalising nationalities, sometimes it is the mayors who take platforms and condemn a whole nationality. If there is a drug dealer who is a Nigerian, it is not that [all] Nigerians are drug dealers. We must deal with the drug dealer.”
Makhura warned political leaders to avoid generalisations. He called for concerted efforts by all who lived in South African communities to fight crime, particularly drugs-related crime.
“If we have a South African who is a rapist you cannot then say all South Africans are rapists. We must deal with that rapist and put that rapist to jail. We work together with the African Diaspora Forum. Let us make sure that in our communities there are no drugs. God’s people, drugs are killing our children. The drugs are finishing our communities. Let’s deal with those manufacturing and distributing drugs. Let’s work together and ensure that in every community we are dealing with crime and drugs,” he said.
Makhura also urged foreign nationals running businesses in Gauteng to also employ South Africans. “Today we went through many shops in Yeoville. Let us make sure that these businesses comply with the by-laws. Let’s make sure that these businesses employ a lot of our people. A lot of the businesses I saw there [in Yeoville] can also help us deal with unemployment. That is one of the discussions I want to have with the small businesses we have all over our province,” he said.
On Sunday, Makhura will lead a government and business delegation to Nigeria and Ghana in an effort to woo investors from those African nations. “We are going to sell the fact that Gauteng is open for business,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, he led scores of participants in the Afrocentric Street Jamboree Parade marking the close of of the 2017 Gauteng Africa Week celebrations.
The event was organised under the theme “A Year of OR Tambo: Building a better Africa and a better world”, through partnership between the Gauteng city region and the African Diaspora Forum. Cultural groups from countries including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia took part in the festivities.
– African News Agency (ANA)