South Africa –Operation Dudula members marched to shops and filling stations in Cape Town on Wednesday, demanding that they get rid of their foreign staff.
The group handed CVs of unemployed South Africans to the workplaces and demanded that they be employed within seven days. Unemployed youth braved rain to join about 200 Operation Dudula members who demanded jobs for them in Kraaifontein.
Athini Thwalani, 21, was among the unemployed youth. Besides her name, age, and address, Thwalani’s CV was devoid of details.
“I don’t have matric but I have my grade 11 report,” she said. “I have been sitting at home for the past three years. I have never had a job. That is why I have decided to join this movement (Operation Dudula).”
Daniswa Jaxa, the secretary of the Kraaifontein branch, said the movement had handed CVs to six companies. Jaxa waxed lyrical about a “post-foreign employee era”. Her comments sounded rehearsed — as if she were reading from a political party manifesto.
“The companies welcomed us and signed our memorandum of demands,” she said.
“People are getting agitated. On the 19th, we are heading to the Strand. Foreigners must be kicked out of those jobs and return to their countries to fix their economies. Our children need jobs.”
Jaxa said the movement was not targeting doctors.
“We are talking about cashiers, petrol attendants, security guards, construction workers … We are fighting for jobs that are meant for us,” she said. “We don’t have a problem with a doctor from Cuba who comes here and helps our people. But they should not take our menial jobs. We will return to the companies in seven days with officials from the department of home affairs and the police.”
She said Operation Dudula had branches in Fish Hoek, Kraaifontein, Stellenbosch, Strand, Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, and Nyanga.
“Last week, we launched another branch in Paarl,” she said animatedly.
“All the people you see here are struggling to make ends meet. The pain of being unemployed compelled them to leave their houses and walk the streets in this rain. They are here for jobs, and they are guaranteed to get jobs when the companies get rid of the foreign staff. Their lives will improve.”
Jaxa said the last time she had a salary was 12 years ago.
“The last time I had a job was in 2010. I was a cashier at a garage here in Kraaifontein,” she said.
The group was all smiles after Jaxa promised them a better life.