Author(s): Nicola de Jager and Nina Hopstock
Strategic Review for Southern Africa.
Since the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa has experienced an increase in xenophobia. The May 2008 xenophobic attacks, as well as evidence of renewed threats of violence in Gauteng and the Western Cape illustrates that hostility to foreigners is a prevalent issue in South African society. A history of exclusion, poor service delivery by local governments, slow development and an increase in poverty and inequality, an unwiltingness to acknowledge the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, and, in particular, South Africa’s closed-door migration policies have provided a breeding ground for xenophobia. South Africa’s political and economic progress will continue to attract immigrants and this challenge needs to be addressed with a properly managed immigration policy for the betterment of both South Africa and the region.