I am probably one of the most enthusiastic, positive people around when it comes to South Africa. I love my country, I love the people and I love the opportunities that it presents from a business perspective. However the recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence around South African townships is of concern to the country and I believe may only be the tip of the iceberg.
I believe that it is critical for the major African leaders to address some of the major conflict areas on the continent if they want to address this problem before it becomes unmanageable.
This problem is likely to be exacerbated by the fact that globally we are currently experiencing record food and energy prices which means the lowest members on the economic rung are being left hungry and with no means to keep warm or cook.
South Africa already plays home to a very high level of immigrants. Many of these people have fled conflict areas such as the DRC, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Mozambique. Figures of around 10 million people have been bandied around by statisticians. Consider that for a moment – let’s say that the real figure is even one tenth of that figure. You have 1 million people in the country – unskilled, unable to find work and competing against South Africans who are equally unskilled and unable to find work. Talk about a recipe for discontent.
South Africa is suffering rampant, VIOLENT crime against its own citizens and I believe that a large portion of this can be attributed to people who are hungry, cold and without a future.
This is where I believe that government foreign policy needs strong action. The longer the impasse in Zimbabwe continues, the more pain South Africa is going to feel. Measures have to be put in place to stimulate economic development in conflict regions simply to put their own populations to work.
As a country, South Africa is bursting at the seams. Unfortunately many of these opportunities are for South Africans – not migrant workers who are fleeing their own countries. Article Source