Delays in Township Economic Development Fan the Flames of Xenophobia

Xenophobic violence in Gauteng
April 20, 2015

Gauteng Provincial Government

The Gauteng Provincial Government’s slow response to the violent and inhumane acts of xenophobia that swept across the province over the past week is an indictment on Premier David Makhura and his executive.

While thousands of foreign nationals live in fear for their lives – and horrific scenes of murder have played out on the province’s streets, the provincial government has proven to be less than caring for the well-being of all residents in Gauteng.


Xenophobia, and the deplorable acts which have followed from this most recent outbreak, is symptomatic of a government that has failed to live up to the needs of people.

High rates of unemployment, slow economic growth and a limp-wristed approach to policy implementation resulted in people looking for easy targets, in the form of foreign nationals, to express their discontent.

History has shown us that in tough economic times, people lash out and find scapegoats for the short-comings of inherently flawed systems.

Premier Makhura’s Township Revitalisation Plan

The question here is what happened to Premier Makhura’s noble plans for township economic development?

All seems to have gone quiet around the Township Revitalisation Plan. Similarly, all is mum on the roll out of Economic Incubators and Development Hubs touted as future game-changers in job creation.

The recent spate of xenophobia has not only seen the unnecessary loss of life that cast a shadow of shame across Gauteng and South Africa as a whole, but shows how the premier has failed the people of Gauteng.

Since January xenophobic tensions have been simmering in Gauteng’s townships, and the premier and the provincial government should have stepped in to defuse the situation through education and sensitisation programmes, as well as to physically get government economic interventions under way.

Now, more than ever, are the citizens of this province crying out for government actions that speak louder than words, and Premier Makhura must be seen to be taking the lead – and not wait for national government to make the first move.


Media enquiries

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

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