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Makhura concerned xenophobia escalation

The Gauteng Premier says South Africans need to unite against xenophobia.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has expressed concern over the continued attacks on foreigners.

He says xenophobia has started to escalate once again.

Makhura, who was speaking at a social cohesion summit in Boksburg on Gauteng's East Rand on Friday, said South Africans should self-reflect before blaming all their problems on foreigners.

He said South Africans need to unite against xenophobia.

"What amazed me more was to find that even business people distrust and dislike foreign nationals, some of whom they do business with. These are the issues that require the country to come around and unite."

According to the latest study by the Gauteng City Region Observatory, levels of xenophobia and intolerance of foreigners are on the rise in the province.

The study showed that 69 percent of residents agreed with the statement that "foreigners were taking benefits meant for South Africans".

In 2008, 62 foreign nationals were killed during xenophobic attacks which started in Alexandra.

The attacks then spread throughout the country.