Let’s go back to early ’90s, before the dawn of democracy in South Africa. There were a number of foreign nationals who migrated to South Africa in search of better living. These people included Somalis, Pakistanis, Zimbabweans, to mention a few of them. when they came into the country happened when there was high expectations from the ANC-Led Government post ’94 elections. The new Government had to deliver on many issues including the creation of jobs, building houses for the poor, providing equal education for all and so on. The injustices of the Apartheid era had to be corrected.
So the promises were made, and the voters expected the new Government to deliver on their promises. having in mind, the number of foreigners who came to South Africa was on the rise. Somalis for example, who emigrated to the country in the early ‘90s after the civil war that broke out in Somalia, emerged across the country and their businesses dominated especially in the informal sector. Unemployment kept increasing, the majority of South Africans still lived in squatter camps with no running water and sanitation, most of the schools in remote areas had pupils learning under trees. The top echelons of Government started weakening due to corrupt public servants.
But such things were bound to happen especially when there is a Government that doesn’t appreciate. A Government that has no plan to prioritise on its citizens. A Government that has no strict controls over foreign nationals who come and leave the country. Today we have:
1)We have ‘China Cities’ in South Africa.
2) Over 1-3 million Zimbabweans who live in South Africa
3) Over 250000 Nigerians live in South Africa. These people enjoy a better living in the Suburbs and in Town centres.
4) Over 32000 Somalis live in South Africa as per Home Affairs Department, and this is surely underestimated as many of them come into the country illegally. They have dominated small businesses in most of the townships especially in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
It is a disaster on the part of Government to meet the needs of its citizens. They come to voters when its election time and make empty promises and neglect it after wards. They spent most of last year (2014) fighting in Parliament instead of dealing with issues that are facing South Africans. The majority of the youth is finding it hard to make ends meet due to unemployment, the poor is still trapped in destitute communities. The very same voters are expected to compete with foreigners in getting jobs. Xenophobia Attacks come as a result of frustration from the voters, hence they are on a rampage. The Government needs to pay a heed to the burning issues like service delivery matters, among many. The time has come for our political leaders to walk the talk, and deliver on their promises. Or watch the country succumbing to a possible civil war.
If you go around Johannesburg, most of the companies have migrated to Sandton because of the influx of foreign nationals in the cities. These people are all everywhere in the country. Most of them are self-employed, they own businesses. Somalis have flourishing businesses; they sell goods at lower prices to beat competition. And while South Africans lament about the high levels of unemployment, the foreigners have a lower rate of unemployment. Because they are most likely to take jobs that South Africans failed to take. That is why there’s been a constant increase of Xenophobia Attacks in South Africa.