Radebe: Economic factors behind 2015 xenophobic attacks

Minister Jeff Radebe says increased competition for limited resources in townships was the root cause of the xenophobic violence.

FILE: A police officer walks pass a burning car in Jeppestown during xenophobic violence on 16 April 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says increased competition for limited resources in townships was the root cause of the xenophobic violence experienced last year.

Radebe was speaking at the post-Cabinet briefing in Pretoria where he confirmed government was briefed on a report into the violent clashes which affected parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

After noting rating agencies’ negative outlook of South Africa’s economy, and the slow economic growth due to the ongoing drought, Radebe says their study found economic factors as the root cause of last year’s xenophobic violence.

“There was an increased competition for economic opportunities, resources and public services between foreign nationals and poor unemployed South Africans residing in especially in townships and informal settlements.”

He says the white paper on international migration will help in managing asylum seekers and refugees.

Radebe says government has also acquired land in Mpumalanga to set up asylum processing centres closer to the border.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)