South Africa’s Xenophobia Problem
Once a haven for other Africans, the country’s economic crisis has soured public opinion on foreigners.
1. For many years, South Africa’s leaders – owing to the legacy of ending Apartheid — were seen as key figures in Pan-African solidarity and liberation struggles.
2. But the old solidarity has frayed as some South African politicians have adopted a more hostile view toward their neighbors on the continent.
3. A year ago, in February 2017, South African police clashed with anti-immigrant protesters.
4. They were demonstrating in favor of ejecting Nigerian and Somali migrant workers from the country.
5. There was also an attack in March 2017 on a Nigerian church in Pretoria.
6. Given their country’s weak economy, South Africans oppose immigrants from the rest of the African continent.
7. Due to growing xenophobia, foreign workers are also held directly responsible by some South Africans for 27% unemployment, undercutting local small businesses and an opioid epidemic.
8. Meanwhile, in the rest of Africa, South Africa is widely seen as an alternative destination to Europe by economic refugees. For years it was a friendly haven.
Sources: NPR, Financial Times, The Globalist Research Center