Tag Archives: xenophobia

Migration, get used to it South Africa

One reason migration enters social and political agendas with greater frequency and salience currently in host societies is because it is seen as disturbing the sense of boundedness. Migrants call attention to the permeability of borders. They enter previously delineated and structured social, economic, cultural, political and, of course, physical spaces. The “threat” of migration…

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The painful context behind the xenophobic violence in Soweto

The xenophobic violence in Soweto has elicited a much-needed public debate on the possible causes and what to do about it. Radio talk shows have discussed this issue the whole week. Researchers have also weighed in with interesting data that demonstrate that these traders are not as dominant as we might think. But what we…

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Pogroms in Mandelaland

With regard to the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence, I can do no better than quote Ranjeni Munusamy, who wrote (Daily Maverick, January 23): “Incidents of racism and xenophobia have again exposed South Africa as a superficial, ugly, violent nation that lacks respect for other human beings. From exclusive restaurants in Cape Town that discriminate…

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Poverty, inequality to blame for mayhem in Soweto

It is generally accepted that social unrest and other forms of instability are driven by multiple factors that have, for whatever reasons, been ignored for a long time. Poverty and unemployment are real and visible everywhere you go in the black townships. In such a depressing environment, all it needs is a spark to ignite…

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Racism, sexism and homophobia: Which prejudice is worse?

By Matthew Beetar Racism is more of a problem than sexism. But sexism is more of a problem than xenophobia, which is less of a problem — occasionally — than homophobia. Transphobia we deal with sometimes, and ageism — what is that even? And dealing with ableism — let’s not take this “reconciliation” thing too…

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Listen to immigrant stories

By Anthea Paelo An Eyewitness News’ headline caught my eye the other day, “Zim home affairs call deportations ‘inhumane’”. Being a foreign national myself, I’m drawn to news articles like this but with the careless disregard of a person confident of their legal status in the country. This changed one weekend last month. It was…

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The A to Z of things we cannot blame on apartheid

At Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, President Jacob Zuma made the point that “he (Mandela) told us that the promises of democracy would not be met overnight … and we all agreed with him … ”. Was this a co-option of Madiba somehow to justify the slow pace of service delivery? While it is true that…

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Femen: From enthusiasm to disenchantment

A wave of popular interest and sympathetic media coverage helped the “radical” Ukrainian feminist movement Femen, known for their topless “attacks” on symbols of the “patriarchy” (religion, “dictators” and pornography) to expand rapidly into Western Europe, the Americas and several Islamic countries. Recently Femen announced triumphantly that “Femen” has topped “feminism” in the Google rankings….

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Denying it’s xenophobia isn’t helping

By David Cote The recent attacks against foreign nationals, particularly those operating shops in townships and informal settlements, have sent shivers down the spines of many in South Africa and across the continent. It has been five years since coordinated attacks exploded across the country and led to the deaths of 64 people and the…

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Five years on and no closer to solving xenophobic hatred

By Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh May marks five years since the xenophobic attacks that shocked the nation. But what has happened since then? Are we better prepared to deal with criminality of that scale than we were five years ago? The simple answer is no. South Africa — in its 19 year democratic history — had never…

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