Brand SA’s chief executive, Kingsley Makhubela, said it was important for youth empowerment to take centre stage at the forum. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko
Durban - Attacks on foreign nationals, mainly fellow Africans, put a dent on the country's moral standing but did not have a major impact on South Africa or South African businesses doing business on the continent, Brand South Africa chief executive Kingsley Makhubela said on Thursday. 

"The question of foreign nationals' attacks in this country, I hear a lot of people speaking that it would affect business, South African business within the continent. It can't be reduced to matters of business. The question of attacks on foreigners goes to our core values," Makhubela told African News Agency (ANA) at the Durban Exhibition Centre. 

"It [attacks on foreign nationals] is against what we stand for as a country. It has nothing to do with a monetary impact. It is a social and a moral thing for us as South Africans. That is why the rest of South Africans are really against this attack on foreign nationals - irrespective of whether it makes money or not. It is a moral issue that we need to address." Sporadic incidents of violence targeted at foreign nationals often flare up in different parts of South Africa. 

Over the years, several people have been killed in the violence despite the South African government's initiatives to foster tolerance between citizens and millions of immigrants. Makhubela spoke to ANA on the sidelines of the 27th World Economic Forum (Africa) being hosted in the coastal town of Durban. 

More than 1000 leaders from more than 100 countries, representing business, government, academia, civil society, media and the arts are in Durban for the WEF meeting, this year themed "Achieving Inclusive Growth through Responsive and Responsible Leadership". Makhubela said the WEF was premier platform and "a meeting of minds". 

"It brings African leaders both from the business and civil society together to chat a way forward to chat a way forward in terms of the economic development of the continent, but also to deal with related matters that are hindering development or matters that might really enhance the economic development of the country. So this is an interaction where the best brains meet in the continent to chat a way forward for all of us in Africa," said Makhubela. 

He said hosting the WEF summit in Durban will have incredible offsets for the world famous city, bordering the vast Indian Ocean. Brand South Africa will host a Thought Leadership Breakfast with business and government stakeholders (WEF Africa delegates) to explore and deliberate on the role of business in achieving inclusive growth. 

 The discussions will enable participants to share insights on how best to navigate the future and explore collaborative actions that could shape the global, regional and industry agendas to provide real benefit to the African continent.