Conflict resolution and management of inter-group relations in South Africa : a study of Black South African reactions to other African immigrants ("Amakwerekwere"), 1994-2008".
On the 11 May 2008, South Africa was awakened to a major xenophobic violence that was targeted at mainly black African nationals resident in the country. The violence later gained momentum spreading through the different provinces of the country in a space of weeks. While this was not the first and last of these kinds of violence against African immigrants, this marked a watershed in terms of its magnitude. The net import of these kinds of attacks shows strained relations not only between South Africans and African immigrants but also between their states. This study therefore sought to analyse the deep-seated reasons behind afrophobia and the violence that accompanies it in South Africa. This was with a view to highlighting the development implications of this afrophobia for South Africa. The overarching goal of the study which also underscores its significance is to proffer solutions on how to achieve intra-racial harmony and peaceful co-existence between different social groupings in South Africa to foster its development. Adopting a qualitative approach, this study illuminated the hydra-headed nature of xenophobia in South Africa and analyses the danger xenophobic violence poses to South Africa‘s national security and reputation. Its findings showed that not only is xenophobia not peculiar to South Africa, but that the country may not be as xenophobic as is popularly portrayed by images of the May 2008 violence. In view of this, it proffers practical recommendations that will provide lasting solutions to xenophobic violence in South Africa. Some of these include instituting and practising peace education across various organisations and tertiary institutions in South Africa, abolishing all forms of apartheid structures and racial hierarchies of social benefits, inter/intra-racial integration and upholding the teaching and learning of various South African languages across South African institutions. Others include the provision of jobs and housing, strengthening of the judicial system and government agencies to act against xenophobic violence and hate speech, and instituting national integration policies like a compulsory "national youth service"programme.
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