South Africa: Competition for Scarce Resources At Root of Xenophobic Attacks, Parliamentary Committee Hears

Zimbabweans leave South Africa following the outbreak of Xenophobia (file photo).

Reports probing the xenophobic attacks of 2010 and 2015 made a number of recommendations, but it appears not many of them have been implemented, parliamentarians heard.

On Wednesday 11 September 2019, the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development heard the findings and recommendations of reports on xenophobic violence in South Africa.

The reports were done in 2010 and 2015 probing the reasons for the xenophobic violence in 2008 and 2015, but could still very well apply to why there are still xenophobic attacks in 2019, the committee heard.

"South Africans are affected by high levels of unemployment and poverty which results in them establishing survivalist businesses that receive minimal or no support from government and thus are particularly sensitive to increased competition," said Nwabisa Mbelekane, a parliamentary researcher, who presented the report to the committee.

The 2008 report found that xenophobic violence occurred in informal settlements, areas with high levels of poverty and where competition for scarce resources worsened the situation.

That year 62 people were killed, including South Africans. In 2015, seven people were killed in xenophobic violence, three of them South Africans.

The general finding of both reports was that "foreign nationals leave their country of origin...

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