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Addressing xenophobic violence in UMlazi suburb: perceptions of a migrant family.

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Xenophobic violence is a recurring phenomenon in South Africa, due to the numbers of asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees entering the country. As some black South Africans, believe that African immigrants compete with them for limited opportunities provided for them within the current social stratification. As a means of excluding African immigrants, black South Africans have adopted the negative ideology of ―aMakwerekwere to describe and relate with African immigrants. In this dissertation, violence against black African immigrants is labeled as “Afrophobic and Nergrophobic”. The study adopts the Bio-cultural theory and Relative deprivation theory in order to understand the phenomenon. This study employed a qualitative research method were purposive sample of an African Migrant Family. The study draws on information gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews carried out in UMlazi from February to March 2018. Research findings were examined through thematic content analysis. Results showed that South Africans are becoming more intolerant of foreigners, Poverty, and political unrest are driving factors for many immigrants coming to South Africa; Xenophobic violence is the attitude, physical and emotional violence perpetrated towards immigrants most especially black immigrants; Violence against foreign nationals operates through a level of physical and cultural appearance and poor black African immigrants living in informal settlements are the victims of these attacks and Negative representations of African immigrants have thus triggered xenophobic violence.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.