The Civil Society Workshop will meet on Thursday, November 21 at 12:30 pm for a discussion with
Doctoral student, Political Science, GC CUNY
Civil society, immigration and xenophobia in Johannesburg, South Africa
This paper emerges from the traumatizing experiences of African immigrants experiencing xenophobia in Johannesburg South Africa. Over a period of three months in the Summer of 2019, a field study was conducted in conjunction with two South African civil society organizations. These are Mould Empower Serve (MES) and the Outreach Foundation. The field study came up with three main findings. Firstly, that the problems of xenophobia are experienced differently in different parts of the city of Johannesburg. Secondly, that “protection gaps” (the period between when the African immigrants arrive in South Africa and the time they successfully get their immigration papers), significantly affected immigrants. These “protection gaps” limit the ability of immigrants in starting their own businesses or gaining employment. Lastly, that depending on the country of origin, different immigrants have different experiences. Somali, Ethiopian and Nigerian immigrants are a lot more successful at starting their own businesses and getting employed compared to immigrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. The paper concludes with areas for civil society intervention that can mitigate the sporadic explosion of xenophobic violence in the City of Johannesburg. It also recommends areas for future research and exploration.
The author would like to thank the CUNY Office of Research for generous fellowship support towards this project.
Room: Political Science Thesis Room, room 5200.07