VENTURES AFRICA – According to the provincial secretary of the Somali board in South Africa, Abdirahaman Abdiwali, doing business in South Africa is somewhat sturdy.
Abdiwali said despite Somali’s contribution to the Town’s local economy, Somalis are vulnerable to crime when conducting their business.
According to him, “Most of these crimes are happening in townships such as Khayelitsha, Delft, Philippe, and Nyanga.
“For the past three months, sixteen people were killed. Some are still in hospital critically wounded and some were left paralysed.
Thirty-six armed robberies were also reported. The criminals operate as a team. They target Somalis who will be coming from the Cash and Carries or other big wholesalers after buying goods for their Spaza shops. Normally they rob them of their goods and bakkies before they reach their shops, or they attack them while they are busy off-loading,” Abdiwali told South Africa’s GroundUp.
Abdiwali lamented that despite Somalis contribution to South African communities through its payment of housing and spaza shop rental fees as well as engaging in charity donations; armed gangs continue to cause pain in their lives.
He however urge all Somalis to integrate and socialise with the community regardless of the situation.
When asked why there has been so much conflict between Somalis and local businesses, he said, “They hate us because we care for and support the community. And we do not double our profits like them. Our Muslim religion forbids us to double profits and emphasises helping the community. We buy our business goods in the same local market with the South African businessmen. I am disappointed by the way they escalate their prices to their community.”
A Somali business man who spoke to GroundUp under anonymity surmised the situation this way: “It is hell-fire in South Africa. It is hell-fire in Somalia. We do not feel safe here at all, but we cannot go back home because of war.”