African Diaspora Chairman: Why are so many Africans fleeing to SA?

African Diaspora Chairman: Why are so many Africans fleeing to SA?

- South Africa remains the number one destination for Africans fleeing their home countries

- The African Diaspora Forum has urged countries to reflect on why their citizens were leaving

- The forum's chairperson added that South Africa could not be left to deal with this immigration on its own

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Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum, Vusumuzi Sibanda, says African countries to need to ask themselves why so many of their citizens are leaving and moving to South Africa.

Sibanda said that governments had to acknowledge the factors causing people to leave, rather than just leave South Africa to deal with the situation.

This comes after a recent spate of xenophobic violence in South Africa, as well as increasing anti-immigrant rhetoric from certain political leaders.

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South Africa is the number one destination for Africans who leave their home countries. For example, in 2017 alone, 5 000 undocumented immigrants wrote matric in South Africa, according to The Citizen.

As a result, South Africa spends large sums of each money on deporting huge numbers of undocumented foreigners. 

However, there is also a lot of xenophobia in the country, which sometimes flares up in the form of violent attacks on immigrants. For example, there have been attacks on Malawians in KwaZulu-Natal in recent weeks, has gathered.

Sibanda pointed this out as well, saying this xenophobia makes it harder for immigrants to integrate into South African society.

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Additionally, Sibanda said that the large waves of immigration into South Africa give people an excuse to blame foreigners for perceived economic and social problems.

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Sibanda made clear though that addressing South Africa's immigration problem would require addressing the internal problems of the immigrants' countries of origin.

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