Thursday, May 22, 2008

Xenophobia Reigns in the rainbow nation

The South African Institute of Race Relations estimated that 4.2 million people were living on $1 a day or less in 2005, up from 1.9 million in 1996.

Group intolerance is not just a black and white issue. A recent poll by TNS Research Surveys, a local outfit, finds that 42% of people living in shacks, facing the fiercest competition for jobs and services, feel threatened by “other cultures”, far more than the national average of 29%. Attacks by black South Africans on Somali shopkeepers and hostility to Zimbabwean immigrants both appear to be rising. The housing shortage in the Western Cape adds to tension between Coloureds (mixed-race South Africans) and blacks. In a country as diverse as South Africa, all this is to be expected. The video incident has made everyone think harder about how to promote greater harmony.


South Africa: Cape Town on high alert as Thabo Mbeki deploys troops to quell violence

South Africa violence: Death toll mounts

NVDL: Necklacing is making a comeback. I first thought it was a rumor but I'm seeing it reported more and more. There were housing tensions in the Cape even before these Xenophobic attacks, which means the possibility of flare ups in Cape Town is high.

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