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Potential tourists deterred by xenophobic attacks

Tourism SA said potential visitors to the country were raising questions about safety.

FILE: A foreign national holds a knife following clashes between a group of locals and police in Durban on 14 April, 2015 amidst ongoing violence against foreign nationals living in Durban. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Tourism South Africa on Monday said potential visitors to the country were raising questions about safety due to the recent xenophobic attacks.

Seven people have died in the violence which started in KwaZulu-Natal and later spread to the Johannesburg CBD, Alexandra and certain parts of the East Rand.

Police said over 300 suspects linked to these attacks had been arrested.

Tourism SA CEO Thulani Nzima said he was currently unaware of cancellations to any bookings due to the attacks.

"I'm not aware of any active cancellations that have happened. But in the intra-African travel there is always shorter booking time. It is possible that people will postpone their travel and then reinstate them later when the situation has calmed down."

LISTEN: What are the effects of xenophobia on foreign nationals?

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said South Africans couldn't sit back and let xenophobia represent who they were as a country.

The premier was speaking at a refugee camp in Mayfair at the weekend, where he was assessing the living conditions of foreigners who fled their homes out of fear of the violence.

Makhura called for all sectors of society to stand together against xenophobia.

"Let's stand up and show that South Africans are disgusted with this type of thing. We have suffered under apartheid; we know what it is to suffer. We also know what it is to be displaced."

He also said foreigners should not feel like they must leave the country.

"We want to normalise the situation. We want to make it possible for those who want to be in our country, to be in our country."

WATCH: Xenophobic Attacks: Running battles continue