South Africans should wake up to the reality of the world and stop xenophobia.

By: Olaniyi Thevoice Abodedele
09 September, 2019

Column: Opinion

South African government has run out of ideas as to how to cater to its brooding black citizens. If anyone says these attacks are about drugs, prostitution or undocumented foreigners and not xenophobia, then such a person has thrown reality out of the window and has no more dignity as a human being.

If these attacks are about drugs, prostitution or undocumented foreigners, then the waves of anger should be directed to the government and Police who have failed them, and not towards innocent, and helpless foreigners doing their legitimate business.

These attacks are about poverty, fear of survival, envy, hatred, sense of entitlement, lack of ability to compete, and because the agitators are not ready to accept the reality of the world being a global village where everyone will have to compete and be creative to survive.

According to Statistics SA, It stated on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 that "South Africa's official unemployment rate jumped to 29%, in the second quarter of the year, the highest jobless rate since the start of 2008. The total labor force or all people who are unemployed, and/or actively seeking work increased by 476,000 to 23 million".

Also, according to in an article dated 13 May 2019 titled; South Africa’s Dependency on Social Grants – 3 Years Later. It stated that “the total recipient of the social grant is 17,731,402. Stats SA's 2018 mid-year report estimated that our population totals 57.73 million people. That means that just over 30% of the population relies on social grants”.

Most of the agitators and perpetrators of these attacks have been too comfortable being spoon-fed by the government. They have no skills what so ever to make them compete and survive in the market. The government must continue to spoon-feed them to save South Africa international embarrassment and isolation from fellow African countries.

South Africans must wake up to the reality of the new world where technology, globalization, skills, perseverance, intelligence, and education is a must-have to survive. South Africans should know that they cannot eat their cake and want it back. South African government cannot be calling for foreign investors, and their citizens are calling for foreigners to leave South Africa.

South African businesspeople and big multi-nationals cannot be moving into Africa to invest, make money, and repatriate their profits to develop South Africa, and their citizens want their borders closed to Africans, and, they want to filter the type of foreigners they want to migrate to South Africa.

The South African government through the Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO), and the Department of Home Affairs cannot be making millions of dollars through visas and temporary permit fees, and on the other hand, the citizens want Africans out of South Africa.  The earlier South Africa and South Africans understand that this is one war they cannot win, the better for everybody. South Africa needs Africa. Africa is the next big thing in the world, a virgin land where everyone is scrambling to have a share. South Africa cannot live in isolation from Africa.

There is a hugely diverse African community market that is financially vibrant in South Africa that black South Africans need to start exploring rather than waiting on the government to provide for them. Meanwhile, the white minority South Africans are not only taking advantage of the huge African community market in South Africa, but they are also further taking advantage of the untapped market on the Continent.

Black South Africans must relax their egos, and begin to learn about African migrants, and how to integrate with African communities in South Africa so they can begin to establish small businesses and stop being dependent on white-collar jobs and government.

Foreign Black African nationals are creating small businesses for themselves to survive and servicing the need of their communities in South Africa to make ends meets. They are also aggressively competing with South Africans in skills utilization and service pricing.

Isn’t it funny that all through these attacks the impact and enormous contribution of foreigners in South Africa is not being analyzed? Do South Africans understand that the economy will collapse if foreigners leave? Do they know the billions of dollars that have been invested in South Africa by foreigners? Do South Africans know the billions of dollars coming into South Africa monthly through foreigners? Do South Africans understand how much direct employment, and how much South African families are benefiting through marriages to foreigners? Do South Africans know how much billions South African companies are making in Africa, and repatriating back to South Africa?

The South African government had recently signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and South Africa stands to benefit more than any other African country on the continent because of its sophisticated industrial capacity. South Africa needs the African market more to boost its economy and to create employment opportunities for its citizens.

It is important for smart black South Africans who are focused and business orientated to open up their minds to start exploring the continent and make friends across Africa in preparation for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and a borderless Africa.

South Africa and her citizens must make up their minds as to what they want. They must understand that they cannot eat their cake and want it back. Every country has its strength, and its strength is its negotiating power. Africans must unite and start to collaborate to build businesses to benefit each other.

This article is the personal opinion of the writer; Olaniyi Thevoice Abodedele, and, his opinion is based on his 15 years of integration in South Africa.

He is the Publisher of The Nigerian Voice Newspaper; a Nigerian community newspaper in South Africa. His also a community commentator, an online radio personality,.



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