Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Deputy Ministers, hon Ministers and hon members, let me thank the IFP for this debate. Let us take our memory back to our history as a nation, to remind ourselves of the context for crime and violence in South Africa, in order to understand the violent nature of certain crimes.
We come from the era where security forces, especially the police, including the police in the so-called Bantustans were used as an instrument of coercion. Their philosophy was that the maintenance of law and order must be through instilling of fear.
That was the only way they could enforce the unjust laws that were intended to entrench white domination and force the majority to submit to the minority rule.
The idea was to maintain a system that did not only engineer racial inequality, but sought to exclude blacks from the economy.
The system created social disorganisation such as that experienced in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere at the height of political violence. This wave of state-sponsored violence destroyed the social fabric and led to the breakdown of institutions, such as family. Many families were affected by this scourge. This has had a destructive psychological impact. The ripples can still be felt. This legacy of brutality has become entrenched within our society.
This is evidence in the violent nature of crimes, where for instance robbery or a sexual crime would more likely happen with the use of a gun or other objects. That underlines the distinctive feature of violent crime in our society.
Hon Deputy Speaker, we are concerned about the incidents of violence and criminality and the recent attacks on the foreign nationals that have gripped the country.
On Wednesday, young women protested outside Parliament against femicide and rape. They marched to Parliament to express their utter disgust and offer solidarity to other women who suffer in
the abuse of men. Throughout the country, they have been protests. We pledge our solidarity with them and commit to review laws on domestic violence and sexual offenses.
The recent brutal attacks directed at women and children have evoked fear of being the victim especially of violent crime.
Despite the laws passed aimed at eradicating the gender-based violence and enhancing the protection afforded to women, South Africa continues to experience unacceptably high incidents of violence against women. They are contact crimes and most of them happen in the private space where no police would even suspect the commission of the crime. We are horrified by this scourge.
Hon Deputy Speaker, South Africa will overcome this if society becomes active in building social cohesion and joining hands in the fight against all forms of violence. The police alone will not help us resolve the problem, hon Whitfield.
Hon Deputy Speaker, I want to deal with employers not complying with the regulatory regime. Businesses have a responsibility to
ensure that they uphold legal and ethical business practices and stop employing foreign nationals, whether they are from Europe, Asia or Africa, who do not have the necessary papers. [Applause.] Even for low-skilled jobs employers decide to employ foreign nationals instead of South Africans, in complete violation of our laws.
We send this message to truck owners in the logistic sector and to the hospitality industry especially restaurant owners and other businesses that have seen it fit to prioritise foreign nationals at the expense of locals, as this creates tension in the labour market. It is no excuse that you did not know that the employees are illegal; the onus is on you to establish the employability including the status of the potential employee. They must not go against the plan of government to create jobs giving priority to the South Africans.
The work of the immigration inspectorate is cut out. South Africans must not take the law into their own hands as if we have weak laws that do not protect them. We have laws that protect consumers and anticompetition practices. Municipal
bylaws regulate trade. Those foreign nationals that do business on our soil must do so within the confines of the law. If they do not respect the law, the police will read them the riot act as it happened the other day. We are a country that observes the rule of law. Those arrested for breaking our laws, it does not matter where they come from, must receive harsher sentences or stiff fines, to send a strong message to a would-be offender.
In the recent past the country witnessed violent riots with mobs attacking foreign nationals, hurling insults at them, damaging their shops and causing a total mayhem.
This savage attack on foreign nationals is infra dig. We condemn these misdirected attacks. They damage the standing of South Africa and dent our image. They undermine our effort to attract direct foreign investments into our economy, to grow our economy and create more job opportunities.
The spread of fake news, video recordings and images purporting to be reports of incidents that have taken place is worrisome. This has sent shockwaves and sparked reprisal attacks within our
borders and elsewhere in the continent. These retaliatory attacks have seen South African owned businesses in the host countries coming under attack and trucks torched and looted, effectively disrupting operations.
These things work against the interests of South Africa on the continent. They run parallel to our efforts to build a better South Africa in a better continent and a better world.
In conclusion, these incidents must not distract us as South Africans from working together in building the kind of South Africa we want. We have a dream! I thank you. [Applause.]