Posted on June 29, 2022

South Africa Risks Race War by Stoking Xenophobia, Opposition Warns

Antony Sguazzin, Bloomberg, June 28, 2022

South African politicians are risking conflict between different local ethnic groups and races by encouraging xenophobia against migrants from other nations on the continent, the leader of the official opposition said.

Two new political parties, ActionSA and Patriotic Alliance, made significant gains in municipal elections last year by running anti-migrant campaigns.

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, the third-biggest political party, led delegations to restaurants in the economic hub of Gauteng demanding to know if they employed foreigners and the African National Congress-led government said it will end a special permit that’s allowed 180,000 Zimbabweans to live and work legally in the country since 2009.

“They are going to saddle a tiger that they will never be able to ride,” John Steenhuisen, the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance said at Chatham House in London, where he gave an on-the-record briefing Monday. “You may think you are starting a bush fire in the foreigner camp, but I can tell you that that fire will jump the fence in South Africa and eventually we will have a full blown race war on our hands.”