Xenophobia: South Africans defy Zuma’s appeal, loot shops | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Xenophobia: South Africans defy Zuma’s appeal, loot shops

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The violent attacks on foreigners, which began in Durban, South Africa, last week has spread to Johannesburg despite the appeal by President Jacob Zuma for peace and anti-xenophobia protest organised Thursday by some indigenes of Durban.

Foreign-owned shops in Eastern Johannesburg, were the latest casualties Friday in a series of xenophobic attacks. Police however confirmed that about 200 foreigners took refuge at a police station, and 12 people were arrested over the attacks.

Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24 per cent. Official data suggests about two million foreign nationals are in South Africa – about four per cent of the total population. However, other estimates put the number of immigrants at five million.

In Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, about seven per cent of the population are thought to be non-citizens.  In 2012, Zimbabweans received the largest number of temporary residence permits (17 per cent), followed by nationals from Nigeria, India, China, Pakistan and the UK.