Geography Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Journal

Africa Today

Volume

56

Issue

3

First Page

2

Last Page

22

URL with Digital Object Identifier

DOI: 10.2979/AFT.2010.56.3.2

Abstract

In May 2008, South Africa experienced an outbreak of violence

against foreign Africans living in the country. Political

leaders expressed shock and surprise, but there has in reality

been long-standing and well-documented hostility toward

African immigrants in South Africa. Several competing explanations

have been put forward, with debate gaining urgency

and polarization since the xenophobic attacks of 2008. After

a selective review of the relevant literature to sketch the

contours of that debate, this paper presents findings from

research conducted with African immigrants living in Cape

Town. Their experiences provide further evidence that antiimmigrant

attitudes and behaviors on the part of “ordinary

South Africans” toward foreign Africans are entrenched and

systemic. The paper concludes by calling for further academic

engagement and greater political commitment.


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