City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says the looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto is a result of the government’s failure to secure the country’s borders.

Several shops were looted on Wednesday in areas including Dobsonville, Rockville, Zola, Meadowlands, Ennerdale and Protea Glen.

Members of the community that spoke to SABC News say they decided to loot to avenge the attacks on the police who were trying to raid shops for counterfeit goods in the Johannesburg CBD three weeks ago.

He says some foreign shop owners have been bringing counterfeit goods in the country and local people are frustrated.

“Our local people are losing jobs on a daily basis because factories are closing, local retail shops are closing. Our own people can’t operate their businesses in their own communities because they can’t compete with these counterfeit goods that are brought into the country. They can’t compete with people who are running businesses at the back of human trafficking and modern slavery that takes place in our own country. So when things like this happen what do you expect to get; it’s really quite unfortunate.”

Many of the foreign-owned shops are closed on Thursday morning and a large police contingent is patrolling the township.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko has condemned the looting.

The MEC’s spokesperson Pinki Noma says the lawlessness cannot be condoned and says community members need to stop taking the law into their own hands.

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