Category Archives: xenophobia

The languages of xenophobia in post-apartheid South Africa: Reviewing migrancy, foreignness, and solidarity

The languages of xenophobia in post-apartheid South Africa: Reviewing migrancy, foreignness, and solidarity

by Camalita Naicker, Agenda: Feminist Magazine

This open forum piece argues that the language and discourse of xenophobia is a shared experience among people who are seen and constructed as being from ‘elsewhere’ in four different provinces in South Africa. It suggests that use of xenophobic discourse and language, the precarious nature of living conditions, labour conditions and restricted access to citizenship rights from the State, are experienced by all people who are categorised as ‘migrants’
internally, and those described as ‘foreigners’ or ‘refugees’ by Government officials.

What this open forum piece will also show is that the Pan-Africanism and collective ideas of freedom, struggle and resistance or ‘bonds of solidarity’ among migrant labourers, both from other countries as well as the former Bantustans during the struggles against apartheid, should not be confined to a nostalgic past, but seen as very much present in South Africa today. This solidarity is perhaps not so much about a shared history of struggle against colonialism and apartheid, although this too may be extant, but is rather informed by a shared present
where some are seen as citizens with freedom of movement and access to services from the State, while others are excluded. The notion of citizenship, then, becomes refracted, not merely through the making of the new categories of ‘foreigners’ through labour migration, but also through deeply raced and classed discourses which inform who is viewed as a migrant and who is not.

Occupy, Resist, Develop

18 December 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Occupy, Resist, Develop

The year 2015, the tenth year of the existence of our movement, has almost come and gone. On the 3rd of October we gathered at the Curries Fountain Stadium to celebrate ten years of struggle. More than four thousand comrades participated in the celebration. We have survived years of serious repression – including arrests, assaults, torture, imprisonment, the destruction of our homes, slander and assassination. In these ten years we have won many victories in the struggle for land and dignity. Continue reading

Makana Municipality Blames Xenophobia on the ‘Third Force’

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement


Makana Municipality Blames Xenophobia on the ‘Third Force’

On Wednesday a number of the people displaced in the xenophobic attacks and their families decided to hold an all night vigil outside the City Hall. This decision was taken after they were told that the men had to leave the safe accommodation by noon on Friday as the municipality was unwilling to pay the bill. It was not safe for them to return to the community and they had nowhere else to go. They were in a desperate situation. This was why they decided that it was necessary to protest. Continue reading

Xenophobia in Grahamstown: A historical view

Xenophobia in South Africa has a history. It does not spring spontaneously from poverty but targets it and captures it. In Grahamstown, this history is as old as the town itself. By PADDY O’ HALLORAN. The Daily Maverick

Almost three weeks have passed since the start of xenophobic looting in Grahamstown that left 500 “foreign” shop owners and family members—most of them South African citizens—with nothing, and more than half of them displaced from their homes. Although looting sputtered out a week ago, and shops in and near the centre of town have opened again, most of the affected people remain displaced, and most shops remain shut. There is no viable plan for the people”s reintegration into the community.

Grahamstown is in deep political crisis. The community members who have worked against xenophobia, as well as the affected people, are sure of one thing: Makana Municipality and the local police have failed them, and, in some cases, actively contributed to the crisis. However, neither the events of the last two weeks nor the authorities” role in them are unfamiliar in the town”s history.  Continue reading