Low growth, inequality behind xenophobia - Mashaba

accreditation
Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba on his 100 days in office. (Jabu Kumalo, file)
Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba on his 100 days in office. (Jabu Kumalo, file)

Johannesburg - An inability to bring about economic growth and decrease inequality are to blame for xenophobic violence, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Monday.

He understood the frustration of South Africans who felt trapped in unemployment and their hatred for crime in their communities.

“However, to channel that anger through xenophobic attacks unfairly vilifies and victimises our foreign brothers and sisters,” he said in a statement.

Some have blamed Mashaba for the violence, after he said that illegal immigrants were criminals.

"They are holding our country to ransom and I am going to be the last South African to allow it," he said in December 2016, at a briefing on his first 100 days in office.

READ: There's no excuse for our xenophobia

Mayhem

On Friday, more than 100 people were arrested when mayhem broke out during an anti-foreigner march in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

Mashaba said on Monday that all available policing capacity would be used to promote law and order and keep foreign nationals and South Africans safe.

He would hold meetings with organisations representing the foreign community in Johannesburg to find solutions.

He has called on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba not to “politicise the matter”.

“Acts of xenophobia are a long-standing and deep-rooted problem, which national government has only sought to pay lip service to rather than admitting to and addressing its underlying cause.

“We cannot allow ourselves to continue to tolerate acts of violence targeting any persons on the basis of any differences, perceived or actual. Ours aspires to be a tolerant and inclusive society, there can be no space for xenophobia in such a society,” Mashaba said.

On Sunday, Gigaba said South Africans held no ill will toward immigrants.

“Nor do they intimidate them, or loot or burn their property,” he said at the Lighthouse Chapel International Church, in Pretoria, on Sunday.

"The vast majority of South Africans are not xenophobic, and the vast majority of immigrants are law-abiding, religious people who seek only what is best for their children and families, for their fellow brethren, and for their countries both of origin and abode," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
32% - 2594 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 3076 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
31% - 2515 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.52
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
20.03
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.89
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,777.21
+0.4%
Silver
23.90
+1.0%
Palladium
2,097.62
-0.2%
Platinum
1,044.76
+0.3%
Brent Crude
85.08
+0.9%
Top 40
60,190
0.0%
All Share
66,776
0.0%
Resource 10
63,288
0.0%
Industrial 25
84,981
0.0%
Financial 15
14,022
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE