Gauteng Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment MEC Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will on Thursday head to Soweto following the rampant looting of foreign national-owned shops in the area.

Ramokgopa has been assigned to find both political and practical solutions to the problem.

Some members of the community in Soweto say foreign-owned shops have been looted to avenge the incidents that happened in the Johannesburg CBD last week, when foreign nationals attacked police during a raid on those who trade in counterfeit goods.

Ramokgopa says, “Whereas it is easy to characterise the situation as xenophobia and self-hate, we think that central to the problem is a shrinking economy that is squeezing people out of jobs and business. Undoubtedly, this is a breeding ground for conflict.“

Police have confirmed that spaza shops were looted in Dobsonville, Rockville, Zola, Orlando, Meadowlands, Emndeni, Moletsane, White City and Zondi on Wednesday night.

A large police contingent has been deployed to these areas.

Foreign nationals have removed goods from some of their shops to a place of safety.

A community member says police are failing to do their work.

“We are just doing police work because police officers are scared to do their job. We were just fighting for them. Foreign nationals should just leave us with our local shop owners. It started as a small thing, but shops were later looted,” says the community member.