Engagement with Immigrant traders in Mitchell’s Plain
On the 26th of October Africa Unite hosted in partnership, with the City of Cape Town and various stakeholders a workshop on the Do’s and Don’ts of trading targeting immigrant business owners in the community of Mitchell’s Plain also including the landlords, where most of the businesses are operating. This was to raise awareness among Immigrants who are often arrested for violating laws and by-laws.
This engagement follows a similar event held in July, in which Immigrant traders shared specific challenges they faced. During the event, official representatives from The Department of Home Affairs, Municipal and Environmental Health Services, Law Enforcement, the South African Police Services, the City of Cape Town, and Africa Unite made presentations. Each presentation was based on their services provided to community members. Furthermore, during the workshop the following traders were present: Somalian, Pakistanis, Bangladesh, Congolese and Malawian.
They were provided with information on how to comply with health and safety regulations, from well-illuminated and ventilated premises, pest proofing, and the handling, transporting, and storing of foods etc. The Department of Home Affairs explained the reasons Immigrants need to be documented. The South African Police Services also explained more about the issue of safety, the legal trading hours and how to report any threat of crime again immigrant traders. Furthermore, each department provided their contact details for further engagement or challenges.
In conclusion, the dialogue revealed that as communities, government officials and civil society we still have more milestones to undergo toward the achievement of the harmony and peace among each other. But, most importantly, participants acknowledged that we need to constantly do these orientations.
- All participants agreed that these types of orientations are useful, and organizers need to extend them to other areas and townships.
- It was also proposed that Uber drivers in Mitchell’s Plain should also be invited to the next workshop as they are often targeted by taxi drivers in the area.