Xenophobia can be avoided

In fact, I am scared. Before I even continue, please let’s stop blaming one another; the attacks might have started in KZN but remember that this does not mean its KZN’s problem.

In 2008 we witnessed the same attacks in Diepsloot and some parts of the country.

If you look at this wisely, the Xenophobia attacks are often carried out by people who feel that issues affecting them directly, on a daily basis, should possibly be addressed by the government or authorities.

These people feel they are just being ignored and the resources to solve their problems are limited.

We have serious issues in the country, which will take some time to completely address.

As a result, it might seem that the next person who is trying by all means, amidst these issues we are trying to solve to get by, is a threat especially when that same person is not from South Africa. However, that should never be a motive to kill and torture in the name of a ‘threat’.

There are better solutions that might appear not effective enough, but in the long run, we will reap the rewards.

Here’s what I suggest we do as South Africans, with the help of our sisters and brothers from outside SA:

  •  Africans should understand that each and every country on the African continent has immigration rules that are not often the same. We have to abide to them for the sake of peace and unity.

If you see an opportunity in Uganda, for instance, find out from your local Home Affairs office or embassy about Ugandan immigration rules. No one can attack you for opening a business in Uganda, but not abiding by the general immigration laws or business rules is not a good idea.

This does not mean only business people should follow another country’s rules. The rules apply to anyone wanting to live or work in another country.

There are ways that each country deals with labour disputes. Know how labour disputes are solved in another country and follow the rules.

Desperation has never helped anyone, so try not to step on anyone’s toes.

  •  Should anyone offer you fraudulent travel or immigration paperwork, report them to the relevant authorities. It’s illegal; anyone engaging in criminal activities should be dealt with by the relevant authorities.

Other than that, being in any country illegally is not safe and will add to your problems. Two wrongs do not make a right.

  •  There is no such thing as a ‘best country’. Each and every country all over the world has its own ills and laws which might rub you up the wrong way. If you cannot deal with these laws, move on. Perhaps change your own attitude. Passing comments that are uninformed might not only get you into trouble, it may force you to abandon an opportunity that could actually see you being the change agent in that foreign country.
  •  Don’t jump into each and every opportunity that comes your way, especially if someone promises you a ‘land of honey’ in another country. Assess the opportunity; if possible ask those already in that country in order to avoid any nasty and often illegal situations.
  •  Africans should learn to love each other, regardless of which country a person comes from.

If we have issues, let us address them properly, in an orderly and approved manner, without endangering one another.

There are channels which are sometimes exhausting, but anything is better than killing one another.

Tau ya Masepeng

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