Picture: Zintle Mahlati

Johannesburg - The ANC says it is concerned about the rise in racial tensions in the country, and is proposing that legislation dealing with hate crime to be prioritised.

Lindiwe Sisulu who heads up the party’s commission on social transformation, said delegates were also concerned about the rise in xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.

Sisulu was on Wednesday giving feedback on the commission’s recommendations which will be finalised at the ANC elective conference in December.

This is the last day of the ANC's policy conference. 

Over the past couple of years various incidents of violent attacks on foreigners have sporadically started in various parts of the country.

The most recent was in Pretoria earlier this year, where shopkeepers had to run for cover as their shops were looted. An organisation claiming to be representing aggrieved South Africans even embarked on a protest in Pretoria to call for foreigners to leave the country. 

Sisulu said these were the incidents that called for prioritising hate crimes.

Another recommendation for the commission dealt with domestic violence and the rise in femicide incidents. The commission has recommended broader education on domestic violence.

“We want to deal with domestic violence in a way that women are empowered to step up and protect themselves and their children,” said Sisulu.

The commission was also concerned about the rise in poverty levels, especially amongst young people due to unemployment.

Sisulu also addressed the issue of a rise in “backward” traditional methods that resulted in people being killed.

“All backward traditional beliefs such as drinking people’s blood should be dealt with,” said Sisulu.

The committee also discussed the rise in crimes related to drugs and the impact of drugs such as nyaope and tik.

@ZintleMahlati 

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