Xenowatch Durban Launch

Venue: Diakona Centre, Durban, South Africa

On 4 October 2018, Xenowatch, a tool to monitor xenophobic threats and violence in South Africa, was launched in Durban, South Africa. People from various walks of life participated in the launch, from civic society, to businesspeople, refugees, migrants and general citizens.

Mr Jean Pierre Misago of the African Center For Migration and Society was the main speaker of the day. He highlighted that manifestations of xenophobia continue to be a threat in several communities across South Africa. The three top provinces that have had the highest incidences of xenophobic violence are Gauteng, the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal respectively. The violence is said to be happening in townships, towns and informal settlements. This year alone, there have been 33 incidents recorded with 9 coming from Kwazulu natal, 11 deaths, 456 shops looted and 1143 people displaced.

Xenophobia is driven by deprivation (ie, a feeling of ‘I am not getting what am entitled to because of outsiders’), collective discontent (ie, crime), beliefs (for example, ‘I am jobless because foreigners are taking our jobs’) and political economy (ie, getting rid of competition). The victims of xenophobia are foreigners and South Africans as well. When there is an attack on foreigners, South Africans also suffer as there is a loss of lives and livelihoods which depend on foreign nationals.

It is of paramount importance that we all be part of this cause and put an end to Xenophobia, which affects the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 3, 8, 10, 11, and 16.