A business association in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban has asked foreign nationals to close their businesses and leave the city’s northern townships by Friday.

The Northern Region Business Association accuses foreign nationals of suffocating the local economy in townships and unfair business practices, eNCA reports.

This comes nearly three years after 2,000 people were displaced and six non-South Africans were killed during xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Foreign shop owners have appealed to the government to protect them as the deadline looms.

“We are running the business like any business people. We got no problem with the community itself.” Ethiopian business owner, Jamal Andullahi, told eNCA.

“Our big problem is with the business association people. This is another way a competition over the business that’s the way I understand it.”

The association denies that its actions are xenophobic.

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