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Understanding the causes and the nature of Xenophobia in South Africa : a case study of De Doorns

dc.contributor.advisorDe Jager, Nicolaen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorHagensen, Liveen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University.Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2015-01-13T11:47:30Z
dc.date.available2015-01-13T11:47:30Z
dc.date.issued2014-12en_ZA
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95829
dc.descriptionThesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study seeks to understand the causes and nature of xenophobia in South Africa. It investigates this through the case of De Doorns, where in November 2009 3000 Zimbabweans were chased out of their homes, which were subsequently looted and destroyed. This case was chosen because it is an example of a xenophobic incident that went beyond xenophobic attitudes to manifest in violent behaviour towards African migrants. The study was guided though three questions. (1) How can the violent xenophobic attacks in De Doorns be explained? (2) Do the explanations for xenophobia offer sufficient explanation for the causes and nature of xenophobia in De Doorns? (3) Are the causes for xenophobia still evident in De Doorns? To answer the first and third questions key informant interviews with relevant organisations were conducted with Agri Wes-Cape, the Hex River Valley Table Grape Association and People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP). In addition, published work (reports and an article) has been analysed. To answer the second question, literature on the topic of xenophobia was reviewed and the findings compared to the answers found for the first question. The key findings in this study were, firstly, that the causes for xenophobia were twofold: there was a context and there were underlying causes; in addition there were specific triggers for the xenophobia. This twofold explanation is evident in Horowitz’s ethnic violence theory, where he takes into consideration both external contextual causes and immediate locality-bound causes. The context was the farming community of De Doorns, characterised by casual work, job insecurity and (often) poor living conditions. The underlying causes were found to be locals’ frustration with and perceptions of Zimbabweans; this led to the development of xenophobic attitudes. In addition, labour brokers were found to have worsened the situation by encouraging causal work and by skimming off workers’ payments. Government insufficiencies were also an underlying condition: there was lack in an early warning system and there were service delivery failures. These underlying conditions gave a breeding ground for the triggers of the violence to operate. These triggers were found to be of a local political character, and these highlighted the explanatory value of Misago’s micropolitics theory. A local councillor stirred up the xenophobia to gain popularity for re-election before the upcoming local government elections. From this it is found that with similar or worse underlying condition xenophobia could flourish, given the ‘right’ triggers. This is an important finding in light of the up coming local government elections in 2016. In terms of the nature of the xenophobia in South Africa, it is argued that this often goes beyond the expression of xenophobic attitudes, and takes the form of violent xenophobic behaviour which is usually targeted at black African migrants. Explanations for this violence have historical roots in the armed struggle and it illicits a response from government. Why black Africans? Their proximity and their vulnerability are put forward as explanations, though it is also recognized that current explanations are insufficient.en
dc.description.abstractAFRIKKANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie se oogmerk is om die oorsake en aard van xenofobie in Suid-Afrika te verstaan. Dit word ondersoek deur die geval van De Doorns, waartydens November 2009 3000 Zimbabwiërs uit hul huise gejaag is wat geplunder en vernietig is. Hierdie geval is gekies omdat dit ‘n voorbeeld van ‘n xenofobiese geval is wat verder as die xenofobiese houdings gegaan het om in gewelddadige gedrag teenoor immigrante uit Afrika te manifesteer. Die studie is deur drie vrae gelei: (1) Hoe kan die gewelddadige xenofobiese aanvalle in De Doorns verduidelik word? (2) Bied die verduidelikings vir xenofobie genoegsame verduideliking vir die oorsake en aard van xenofobie in De Doorns? (3) Is die oorsake van xenofobie steeds sigbaar in De Doorns? Om die eerste en derde vrae te beantwoord is sleutel informante onderhoude met relevante organisasies gevoer naamlik Agri Wes-Kaap, Die Hexriviervallei Tafeldruif Vereniging en People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP). Daarby is gepubliseerde werk (verslae en ‘n artikel) ook ontleed. Om die tweede vraag te beantwoord is literatuur oor die onderwerp van xenofobie hersien en die bevindinge vergelyk met die antwoorde op die eerste vraag. Die sleutel bevindings in hierdie studie was eerstens dat die oorsake vir xenofobie tweeledig was: daar was ‘n konteks en onderliggende oorsake; daar was ook bykomende snellers vir die xenofobie. Hierdie tweeledige verduideliking is duidelik in Horowitz se etniese geweldsteorie, waar hy beide eksterne kontekstuele oorsake en onmiddelike ligging-gebonde oorsake. Die konteks was die plaasgemeenskap van De Doorns wat gekenmerk is deur informele werk, werksonsekerheid, en (dikwels) swak lewensomstandighede. Hierdie onderliggende oorsake is bevind om die plaaslike inwoners se frustrasie met en siening van Zimbabwiërs te wees; dit het aanleiding gegee tot xenofobiese houdings. Daar is verder gevind dat arbeidsmakelaars die situasie vererger het deur die aanmoediging van informele werk en die afskeer van werkers se betalings. Regeringstekortkominge was ook ‘n onderliggende oorsaak: daar was ‘n gebrek aan ‘n vroeë waarskuwingstelsel terwyl diensverskaffing ook misluk het. Hierdie onderliggende toestande het ‘n broeiplek aan die snellers van die geweld gegee om te funksioneer. Daar is bevind dat die snellers ‘n plaaslike politieke karakter gehad het en beklemtoon die verklarende waarde van Misago se mikro-politieke teorie. ‘n Plaaslike raadslid het die xenofobie aangewakker om gewildheid te verwerf vir herverkiesing voor die toekomstige plaaslike verkiesings. Vanuit hierdie is daar bevind dat xenofobie met soortgelyke of erger onderliggende toestande kan floreer, met die ‘regte’ snellers. Dit is ‘n belangrike bevinding in die lig van die toekomstige plaaslike regeringsverkiesings in 2016. In terme van die aard van xenofobie in Suid-Afrika word daar gearguenteer dat dit dikwels verder gaan as die uitdrukking van xenofobiese houdings en die vorm neem van gewelddadige xenofobiese gedrag wat dikwels op swart immigrante van Afrika gemik is. Verklarings vir hierdie geweld het geskiedkundige oorsake in die gewapende stryd en ontlok ‘n reaksie van die regering. Hoekom swart Afrikane? Hulle nabyheid en kwesbaarheid word aangebied as verklarings terwyl dit egter ook herken word dat huidige verklarings onvoldoende is.af_ZA
dc.format.extentx, 88 p.
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subjectXenophobia -- South Africa -- De Doornsen_ZA
dc.subjectImmigrants -- Violence against -- South Africa -- De Doornsen_ZA
dc.subjectSouth Africa -- Race relationsen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertations -- Political scienceen_ZA
dc.subjectTheses -- Political scienceen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.titleUnderstanding the causes and the nature of Xenophobia in South Africa : a case study of De Doornsen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch University


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