Public Sercice International (PSI) has condemned in the strongest terms the xenophobic violence in Johannesburg, Pretoria and other parts of South Africa, urging the South Africa government to deal decisively with this crisis by arresting and sanctioning individuals and organisations who are organising and inciting violence in the name of xenophobia
The PSI is a global union federation affiliates 684 trade unions from 152 countries representing over 30 million workers in social services and health care
In a statement by its Regional Secretary for Africa and Arab region, Comrade Sani Baba, the PSI lamented that the response to the attacks from the South African government has once again been found wanting.
Comrade Baba said despite calls by President Cyril Ramaphosa of his intention to call a security cluster, more has to be done.
He said, “For many years, leaders in governments have spread misinformation that has been used to scapegoat foreigners for the ills of the country. Yesterday – days late –
“Nationalism in all its forms must be opposed, and we call on government leaders to cease making anti-migrant statements and to change its immigration policies.
“There is no justification for xenophobia, and what we are witnessing is misplaced anger and frustration at migrants from Africa and the Indian subcontinent. A significant part of the problem has been the failure of the government to provide proper access to basic public services and a lack of maintenance of infrastructure.
” Instead, South Africa’s state-owned enterprises have been looted, and government’s ability to provide services eroded by corruption and maladministration. All the while poverty, unemployment and inequality have risen. The South African government would be short-sighted to push forward with austerity measures and their plans to cut down the public sector.
“We call on government to consult with countries from African and the Indian subcontinent countries to respond to their concerns urgently. This violence has now spread to Nigeria, where protesters are fighting back at South African franchises and we need to stop it now. The Nigerian government has expressed concerns that the attacks in Nigeria on South African companies including MTN, Multichoice, Shoprite and others will also have negative impacts on the already employed youths in such businesses.”
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