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Xenophobia rife among the wealthy – research

Publish date: 13 January 2020
Issue Number: 855
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Equality

South Africans are patriotic but afraid – showing distrust towards each other as violent crime endures, and towards other Africans. A TimesLIVE report notes that this is according to the SA Reconciliation Barometer 2019, released by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. ‘Xenophobic sentiments are pervasive, with roughly four in 10 South Africans agreeing that they are likely to prevent people from other African countries from accessing certain services and from participating in certain activities,’ the report stated. ‘Debunking myths that xenophobic attitudes are present primarily among poor people and those with limited formal education, investigation of the barometer’s data shows a greater extent of xenophobic sentiment among educated groups in comparison with groups with limited formal education, and a greater extent of xenophobic attitudes among higher socio-economic measures (SEM) groups in comparison with lower SEM groups,’ the barometer said. ‘In addition, younger age groups also show a greater extent of xenophobic beliefs in comparison with older age groups.’ Despite this, most South Africans want unity and think it is possible, with this year showing the greatest optimism in this area since the inception of the barometer in 2013. ‘These findings bode well for building cohesion among South Africans. However, challenges to these hopes persist in the form of historical confrontation – such as with regard to whether the old South African flag should be banned – and pervasive sources of division such as inequality and differences between people from different race groups and political parties,’ the report said.

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Full TimesLIVE report