[Johannesburg, South Africa, April 08, 2022]. Today, Brand South Africa has called for calm amid growing violence brewing between citizens and foreign nationals in the country. As an organisation mandated with managing the image and reputation of South Africa, we urge everyone to exercise restraint, to avoid further loss of life and damage to the country’s infrastructure.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned these acts and vigilantism where he stated that: “Any form of criminality that results in the death of anyone is not acceptable and we will take action to deal with it. We are continuing to keep a very close eye and engaging with various members of the community because we don’t want that situation to turn into an ugly one.”
He also added that: “We are consulting on all sides, … and also listening very closely to their concerns. But we will not condone any criminality.”
In his address to the South African Heads of Mission Conference on 07 April 2022, President Ramaphosa said: “We have learned that as African countries, we will not meet the aspirations contained in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, if we are not united and if we do not speak with a single voice. Peace and stability are vital for development. As a country, our fortunes are inextricably bound with the security and prosperity of our continent.” He also emphasised the coming into operation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement as the singular most important step toward continental economic integration. It is up to us to ensure its success. Our missions must be at the forefront of building networks and being part of activities to strengthen the AfCFTA.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has committed to addressing illegal immigration in South Africa. The country is currently reviewing three Acts related to immigration issues, namely: the Refugee Act, the Citizenship Act and the Immigration Act in order to align and simplify them for everyone. “We recognise that some of our laws were enacted in a period where things were very different to how they are now. We need to modernise our laws to reflect our current circumstances, based on our realities. South Africa does not have a problem with people who are legally seeking protection. The challenge is with those who are here illegally,” said Minister Motsoaledi.
Brand South Africa’s Acting CEO, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said: “Beyond the damage to the country’s infrastructure, the levels of violence we have seen recently are unnecessary and could adversely impact efforts we are embarking on to position South Africa as a welcoming investment and tourism destination.”
“We accept that there are socio-economic challenges that South Africa is faced with, which are also fuelled by immigration concerns in Southern Africa. That said, no one deserves to die in this manner. Violence is bad for everyone. As Africans, we need to exercise tolerance towards one another.” It must be noted that there are practical steps that South Africa is driving to address illegal immigration and those are taken within the ambit of the law. South Africa cannot afford to be seen to be tolerating communities taking the law into their own hands, as this directly impacts its image and positioning as an African Union member state.
Furthermore, the Department of Home Affairs has been embarking on a range of interventions to manage the immigration challenges that the country is facing, including engaging its African counterparts. It is imperative that the interventions follow an inclusive approach for purposes of alignment. To this end, we urge everyone to remain calm and allow government structures the space to manage the issue for the benefit of all,” she concludes.
Issued by Brand South Africa
Notes to the Editor About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone. Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-soyoung. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.