SA sets up forum to tackle xenophobia


27 June 2013

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan has announced the establishment of a forum to conduct dialogues across South Africa on issues related to xenophobia.

Chohan made the announcement after meeting with business and community leaders in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Chohan said the government was gravely concerned about the level of violence directed at foreign nationals. “We felt there was a need to discuss the matter with foreign national business people,” she said.

The discussions were sparked by the recent spate of incidents of violence directed at foreign nationals. In some instances, businesses belonging to foreign nationals were looted.

Chohan said she hoped the forum would encourage people to address the challenges they faced.

“We believe this is a healthy way to address conflicts. We hope this will result in a process and culture of resolving problems.

We also think the forum will assist in bringing people together,” Chohan said, adding that there was a need to develop an understanding of other cultures.

According to Chohan, the dialogues are expected to start in Gauteng, as it is the most affected province.