Category Archives: xenophobia

Today’s Abahlali General Assembly to Discuss the National Crisis of Violence Against Women, Migrants, Children and Impoverished People

Sunday, 8 September 2019
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Today’s Abahlali General Assembly to Discuss the National Crisis of Violence Against Women, Migrants, Children and Impoverished People

Our country is in a deep and very painful crisis. Millions of people see no future for their lives and we face terrible violence from the state and each other. Husbands attack wives. Neighbours attacks neighbours. Fathers attack their own children. The state destroys our homes with violence every day. No one is safe. Nowhere is safe.

As impoverished people we have been living in a constant state of emergency for years. We have lost 18 comrades in a few years. Most of them have been killed by the municipal Land Invasion Unit of the eThekwini Municipality. Some of them have been killed by the South African Police, some of them have been killed by the Metro police, some of them have been killed by the izinkabi hired by ANC councillors. Continue reading

Daily Maverick: We must build a powerful united front against xenophobia

Imraan Buccus, The Daily Maverick

The ongoing attacks on women and migrants have led to deep pessimism about the state of SA. Social cohesion and human rights seem like a distant dream, and it’s not just the president who has been absent. Civil society and trade unions largely seem missing in action too.

Alarmingly, one major civil society organisation issued a long statement on xenophobia which presented the crisis as one solely suffered by African migrants, and completely left out the fact that many migrants from Asia have also been attacked. This statement, with its crass disregard for Asian migrants was, itself, xenophobic.  Continue reading

Abahlali baseMjondolo Condemns the Xenophobic Attacks

Wednesday, 4 September 2019
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Condemns the Xenophobic Attacks

The recent attacks on our brothers and sisters in Pretoria and Johannesburg are a disgrace that needs to be condemned in the strongest possible way. Abahlali baseMjondolo have always condemned this kind of inhumanity. We have always understood that the old Bantustans, now turned into provinces, and the colonial boarders, were created by the colonisers to be able rule and control us. We have always understood that we were made poor by racial capitalism and that it is the alliance between the ANC and racial capitalism that keeps us poor.

Our movement was formed on the foundation of Ubuntu, where the spirit of community and working together is encouraged. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. A person is a person whenever and wherever they find themselves, and must be respected as a person. A neighbour is a neighbour and a comrade is a comrade without regard for the province or country in which they were born, or which language they speak.  Continue reading

No refuge for migrants in South Africa

New Frame

28 August 2018: Rajabu Mwinyi in his shop in the Durban CBD. Several xenophobic political parties are emerging in Durban, causing migrants around the city to live in fear.


Sitting behind security bars in his shop in McArthur Street in the Durban CBD, 36-year-old Hassan Bikorwa says he’s a sitting duck. Bikorwa, who came to South Africa from Burundi more than 13 years ago, says he has been repeatedly robbed. Continue reading

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.


The Languages of Xenophobia