Xenophobia conflict in De Doorns; a development communication challenge for developmental local government

Botha, Johannes Rudolf (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Xenophobic hostility is not an unfamiliar concept – it is practiced all over the world, also in South Africa. Defined by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) as a deep dislike of non-nationals by nationals of a recipient state, it constitutes a violation of the human rights of a targeted group, threatening the very principals upon which the young democracy is modelled on. What distinguishes xenophobia in South Africa from the rest of the world is its violent manifestation. In this country xenophobia is more than just an attitude, it is a violent practise, fuelled by racism, intolerance, ignorance and incapacity to deliver on developmental expectations. The 2008 xenophobic attacks in major centres in South Africa stunned the local and international communities, causing researchers to rush in search of answers. Just as the furore turned into complacency, on 17 November 2009, 3000 Zimbabwean citizens living in the rural community of De Doorns in the Western Cape were displaced as a result of xenophobic violence. Reasons for the attacks vary, with some blaming the contestation for scarce resources, others attribute it to the country’s violent past, inadequate service delivery and the influence of micro politics in townships. In assessing the reasons for the attacks the study claims that the third tier of government in terms of its Constitutional developmental mandate fails to properly engage with communities on their basic needs; that its inability to live up to post-apartheid expectations triggers frustration into violent xenophobic action. The De Doorns case offers valuable insight into the nature and scope of the phenomenon in rural areas, highlighting local government’s community participation efforts in exercising its developmental responsibility and dealing with the issue of xenophobia.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Xenofobie is nie ’n onbekende verskynsel nie, dit kom reg oor die wêreld, ook in Suid- Afrika voor. Gedefinieer deur die Suid Afrikaanse Menseregte Kommissie as ’n diep gesetelde afkeur aan vreemdelinge deur die inwoners van ’n gasheer land, verteenwoordig dit ’n skending van menseregte en hou dit ’n bedreiging vir die jong demokrasie in. Xenofobie in Suid-Afrika word gekenmerk deur die geweldadige aard daarvan. Hier verteenwoordig dit meer as ’n ingesteltheid, dit is ’n geweldadige uiting van gevoelens, aangespoor deur, rassisme, onverdraagsaamheid, onverskilligheid en die onvermoë om aan ontwikkelings-verwagtinge te voldoen. Die 2008 xenofobiese aanvalle in die stedelike gebiede van Suid-Afrika het die land en die wêreld diep geraak en ’n soeke na oplossings ontketen. Op 14 November 2009 word die gerustheid na die 2008 woede erg versteur toe 3 000 Zimbabwiërs in De Doorns in die Wes-Kaap deur xenofobiese geweld ontheem is. Redes wat aangevoer word wissel vanaf mededinging vir werksgeleenthede tot die land se geweldadige verlede, onvoldoende dienslewering en die invloed van mikro politiek in woonbuurte. Met die oorweging van redes vir die aanvalle maak die studie daarop aanspraak dat die derde vlak van regering in terme van sy Konstitusionele ontwikkelings-mandaad gefaal het om na behore met die gemeenskappe rondom hul behoeftes te skakel, dat die regering se onvermoë om aan die post-apartheid verwagtinge te voldoen frustrasie in xenofobiese geweld laat oorgaan het. Die De Doorns geval bied waardevolle insig in die aard en omvang van xenofobiese geweld in landelike gebiede en lê klem die plaaslike regering se hantering van openbare deelname in terme van sy ontwikkelings verpligtinge.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20094
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