Townships in South Africa were created by the Apartheid government on the peripheries of the cities for black people who were needed to be nearby for labor but were not desirable to live in the city itself. These townships continue to be the homes of the lower and working classes and are generally characterized as being neglected in terms of service delivery and economic and social upliftment. As a result, these areas are often also the hub of discontent, and lately the foreign migrants living there (who are equally disenfranchised and underprivileged) have borne the brunt of poor South Africans frustration. They are seen as scapegoats and have been victims of incredibly violent attacks since 2008. This article shows that their situation has not been resolved, with communities organizing to  and that the South African government has done little to address the underlying issues that have caused this.

 

-Yumna Mohamed

 

Middle-class South Africans protest against xenophobic attacks Photo courtesy: Gretchen L Wilson

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