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'SA has long way to go to tackle xenophobic violence'

The Human Rights Commission is set to release its report on the 2015 xenophobic attacks.

Demonstrators take part in an anti-xenophobic march outside the City Hall of Durban on 8 April, 2015. Hundreds of people marched today to protest against anti-immigrant violence, a week after hundreds were attacked near the eastern city of Durban. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission Lawrence Mushwana says the country still has a work to do in addressing the root cause of xenophobic violence.

The commission is expected to release its report on xenophobic attacks that happened in Durban last year, including alleged xenophobic statements made by King Goodwill Zwelitihini.

But Mushwana says society shouldn't be quick to label attacks xenophobic, when serious socio-economic issues are the driving force behind them.

Mushwana says attacks on foreign nationals in the country's townships are seldom fuelled by mere intolerance.

"When you look closely there are other causes; socio-economic conditions are serious."

He says addressing the cause of the attacks, which often start as business disputes, is a big challenge facing the country.

"When can you open business? What must you observe? How many businesses do you want in a particular area? The laws are very insufficient."

Mushwana says there have, however, been improvements which include faster police response to reports of attacks.