Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia calls for urgent meeting with the President and his Ministers

22nd June 2022

Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia calls for urgent meeting with the President and his Ministers

Photo by: Reuters

KAAX is on record welcoming the unequivocal stand taken by President Ramaphosa stating that the ANC cannot work with Operation Dudula which he refers to as a “vigilante-like force”. Despite this stand, xenophobic and broader collective violence continues to consume our country.

Last week, on Youth Day (16th June), KAAX sent a letter to the President, together with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ministers of Basic Education and Higher Education; Minister of Transport; Minister of Employment and Labour; Minister of Police; and the Minister of Home Affairs.

As representatives of many formations in civil society leading struggles for social justice, we have requested a meeting within the next 14 days and have listed the following urgent issues on the agenda for meaningful engagement with the President and members of his Cabiinet:

1. The ongoing and more recent rise in xenophobia and accompanying violence
2. The impacts on education and other basic needs
3. Government’s National Labour Migration Policy and Employment Services Amendment Bill (with particular attention to the enforcement of quotas)
4. The cancellation of the Zimbabwean Special Permit.
5. The role of the SAPS and Home Affairs
6. SA's constitutional and international obligations in respect of migrants
7. What is to be done? (the way forward)

It is of serious concern to KAAX and its many supporters that Operation Dudula continues threatening law-abiding people living in this country, as well as targeting foreign nationals living and working in “informal settlements” and townships. These unlawful actions take place in broad daylight, with individuals disrespecting the rule of law and our policies. It is of grave concern that most law enforcement personnel are conspicuous by their absence and failure to bring the perpetrators to book. What is worse is that political leaders continue to fuel the flames of violence against fellow human beings by spreading misinformation and making unsubstantiated statements – which only contribute to criminalising migrants and migration.

It makes a mockery of our constitution and the legal obligations that the state and political parties are democratically mandated to respect and enforce,
as well as undermines values of respect for human rights and dignity of all who live in this country including predominantly black people from our African Continent. It is shocking that in the most recent example Minister Mbalula is on record as naming by nationality people who he believes are responsible for taking jobs in SA. We are angry that this xenophobic and racist comments are allowed to be made with impunity.

Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia is a broad coalition of organisations, committed to combatting xenophobia. We work to build solidarity in communities and between those in need, wherever they come from. We work in alliance with organisations mobilising both in the informal sector and with organisations representing the working class. KAAX denounces all forms of violence – with priority given to violence against womxn and xenophobic violence. We collaborate to engage in community assemblies and dialogues to begin conversations and build solidarity to end crime, unemployment and gender based violence. Inclusivity and solidarity in struggle: nationally, on the African continent and globally, is what we stand for.


Issued by KAAX