South Africa: Gauteng Violence Has Nothing to Do With Xenophobia


Where there are scarce resources to go around, one can expect more acute contestation for such resources from all quarters in the country, including the migrant communities.

Listening to and looking at the footage on the "xenophobia attacks" in South Africa, I was struck by how much emotion is flying around with very little substance as to the root causes of this situation. In other words, I don't see any real debate about the current realities and what could potentially have given rise to this unacceptable phenomenon.

From where I'm sitting, this is nothing short of criminal activity and has nothing to do with xenophobia. Why do I say this?

For starters, foreign nationals are not the target of these criminals - a few black Africans in selected townships are. Foreign nationals sitting in Sandton, the Waterfront in Cape Town, in business meetings and driving our Uber vehicles are hardly being targeted by South Africans. No foreign nationals from Europe or North America are being targeted by the mobs - most curious. The loss of life is, of course, most regrettable, but even here, unlike previous incidents of this nature, very few foreign nationals died. In fact, most of the...

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