DURBAN:140415 Police tackling with an armed Foreign national who was one of the crowed that gathered in Point road carrying Arms and burning tires in retaliation of xenophobic attacks that were happening in West street. PICTURE:GCINA NDWALANE
DURBAN:140415 Police tackling with an armed Foreign national who was one of the crowed that gathered in Point road carrying Arms and burning tires in retaliation of xenophobic attacks that were happening in West street. PICTURE:GCINA NDWALANE

Counting the cost of xenophobic violence

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Apr 16, 2015

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Durban - The xenophobic attacks will impact on South Africa’s relations with the continent, but it was unlikely that African countries would retaliate.

This was the view shared by political experts on Wednesday when they commented on the violence.

South Africa has several bilateral agreements in Africa with local businesses well established in many countries.

“Over the long term, xenophobic attacks will definitely have a severe economic impact. However, such will not necessarily be immediate as bilateral and multilateral ties are negotiated for several years and months prior,” said Unisa’s international communication and political communication lecturer, Rofhiwa Mukhudwana.

Mukhudwana said the most concerning economic effect could be felt in failing to attract scarce skills from African intellectuals who might fear being victimised in the country.

“Attracting investment from Africa and internationally will equally be a challenge because nobody wants to invest in an unstable country. The same can be said about tourism,” she added.

Dr Sehlare Makgetlaneng, chief research specialist in the governance and security programme of the Africa Institute of South Africa in the Human Sciences Research Council, said African leaders would understand the nature of the xenophobic attacks.

Some of the foreign nationals came to South Africa because of political instability and socio-conditions in their own countries.

“We have to understand that leaders of these countries, even though they may not admit it, are responsible,” Makgetlaneng said.

He said the countries of origin of the foreign nationals were unlikely to avenge the attacks.

“Instead, you will have nationals from some countries articulating hatred towards South Africa. It won’t be revenge on the part of their countries,” he said.

Daily News

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