Most in SA OK with foreign spaza shops

2012-07-13 14:21

Johannesburg - Most South Africans believe foreigners should be allowed to run their spaza shops in the country, a new survey has revealed.

"Around 44% felt foreigners should be stopped from running spaza shops, compared to 46% saying they should be allowed to stay, with 10% undecided," the researchers said.

The survey was conducted by Pondering Panda among 5 641 adult South African nationals from different demographic groups.

It showed men were more negative towards foreign-owned businesses than women.

"About 48% of men felt that foreign run spazas should be stopped, compared to 40% of women," stated the researchers.

People of different age groups held different opinions on the matter, with most older respondents rejecting foreign-owned businesses.

"About 54% of those aged 35 years and older were negatively disposed, compared to 43% of those aged between 18 and 24. Negative perceptions were uniform across racial groups."

Foreign-owned spaza shops were mostly rejected in the Western Cape and North West provinces.

According to the survey, negative feedback was also largely collected from poorer respondents.

Pondering Panda spokesperson Butch Rice said this was probably due to resentment.

"The findings of this survey confirm that we are facing a very real threat of xenophobia," said Rice.

Just this week alone, several spaza shops belonging to foreigners living in the Western Cape were looted and torched.

"Given the relatively high percentage of people opposed to foreigners running spaza shops the violence can be expected to continue, unless the authorities take decisive action," said Rice.

– Sapa

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

  • tsietsi.mshengu - 2012-07-13 17:06

    Those are the people who do not understand the dynamics of this issue. These foreigners don't employ South Africans. Once the money enters their circles, it is trapped and does not circulate. Are they paying tax? I doubt it.

  • alfie.essa - 2012-07-13 17:45

    The headline uses the word 'most', quite misleading in context. Almost half are against it

  • Michelle - 2012-07-14 12:18

    Once you start restricting ownership or trading rights by particular groups then where does it end? Can gays own shops? Do we monitor who they employ? What is a foreigner anyway... What If a Zimbabwean is married to a South African? What if it's their kid that owns the shop? Get real, this is the 21st century. Free trade for all. Everyone has equal opportunity to start a spaza shop, no matter how small and start growing it. Stop whingeing and start competing and beat them at their own game. If we really want constructive action then why does the government not provide startup aid to local residents... Think creatively instead of trying to pull others down!

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-15 02:37

    Can someone please tell me what a spaza shop is???

  • juliane.vorster - 2012-07-23 14:04

    I agree with Michelle. The issue is not the foreigners. They are simply outsmarting the locals. The issue is that there are millions of people who are extremely poor. Those who try to start a business are often shut down indirectly by corporates invading their market without putting sufficient value back into the community for what they extract. If government is serious about job creation and poverty alleviation, there should be huge incentives for SA nationals to set up their own business, the entry barriers that are HUGE should be lowered or eliminated to a large extent and the millions, oops - billions, trapped in government coffers and allocated for job and enterprise creation should be made accessible to the SMME's. Let's hope #SASMEF can make a difference towards this very soon!

  • pages:
  • 1