The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has announced the establishment of a National Dialogue on Foreigners living and working in South Africa.
This follows the rise of anti-immigrant groups such as: Operation Dudula and the Alexandra Dudula movement, which targets illegal aliens in the country, accusing them of taking scarce jobs from the locals.
Amid fears that the vigilante protests could spark another wave of xenophobic attacks, the SACC said the national indaba was critical in fully understanding the challenges faced by locals and foreigners.
In addition, the council said it wanted to question the factors behind tensions between locals and what it calls “non-South Africans”.
“We have identified a major driver of this being the deep poverty that gnaws at the life chances of what the SACC calls the excluded majority, South Africans who have historically been outside the main fabric of the economy.
“The excluded majority resides largely in the poor communities of our country, where there is a lot of struggle for livelihood opportunities between poor South Africans and non-South African individuals,” said the SACC general secretary. , Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, in a statement†
Mpumlwana said the tensions stemmed from the failure of South Africa’s democratic government to deliver on “post-apartheid South Africa’s promise”.
“Failing to achieve this is fueling the growth of a scarcity mentality that grips poor communities for lack of hope,” he said.
“However, it should be noted that the campaigns against non-South Africans are not limited to the poor communities but also reach the professionals and other middle class environments, as has begun in the case of foreign doctors,” he said. added.
The proposed national indaba is for 21-23 June 2022.
It brings all interested parties together in an organized and structured way in one process of engagement, with the aim of finding sustainable solutions.
The SACC appealed to the public to submit their proposals in writing to [email protected] at the SACC for the attention of the Secretariat of the National Indaba.
“Our request is that these public submissions should be solution-oriented, focused on presenting their recommendations for how to solve these challenges in the short and long term.
“This includes all those individuals who may have previously used different channels to share their thoughts; we invite them to resubmit their thoughts through this formal process.”
The deadline for all interested parties to submit their proposals is March 31, 2022.