'Xenophobic attacks caused by socio-economic issues'

An ad hoc committee report says crime & political instability also play a part.

FILE: A lunch queue snakes from a tent at a temporary camp for foreign nationals displaced by xenophobic violence in Isipingo, Durban. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Ad hoc Committee set up to probe the root causes of violence against foreign nationals has found socio-economic conditions to be responsible, along with crime and political instability in people's countries of origin.

Committee chairperson Ruth Bhengu said, "The long-term solution to this complex situation is a collective effort by all governments in addressing socio-economic conditions as well as political instabilities on countries where that is the situation."

She was speaking in the National Assembly where the committee's report was adopted yesterday but it came under fire from opposition parties for not going far enough.

The Democratic Alliance's Toby Chance said, "We're left with a report which refuses to recognise xenophobia as a crime. If it's not a crime, it doesn't exist, right? Wrong!"

The Economic Freedom Fighters also slammed the report, labelling it as shallow.

The committee was set up in the wake of a spate of attacks on immigrants in April in which seven people, three of them South Africans, died.