Invitation from United Front (Joburg region) to organise against xenophobia. We are writing to you because we are concerned that xenophobia is rearing its ugly head again in South Africa. In our recent meetings we have been getting reports from various community organisations and civics which suggest this. There does not seem to be any threat of violence yet, but we all know how quickly these things can escalate. We are worried that public figures such as the Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba have made some xenophobic statements against “illegal foreigners” who hijack buildings in the city. Most seriously, an organisation in Mamelodi is trying to organise a march against “foreigners” in the community – blaming them for the structural unemployment crisis, suggesting that South Africa shouldn’t give refuge to refugees, accusing migrants of drugging women and selling them as sex slaves. What is most worrying is that this organisation has been contacting other areas such Alexandra in an attempt to spread their xenophobic ideas.
As the newly formed union of community health care workers, we express our horror and disgust at the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients under the watch and care of the Gauteng Department of Health. It is obvious that for many years the government’s approach to healthcare of poor working class South Africans has favoured penny-pinching at the expense of decent healthcare. This approach of the ANC-led government has prevailed in virtually all spheres of social support where budget cuts for the poor along with self-enriching corrupt tenders and outsourcing deals by government leaders and officials is the priority instead of “A Better Life for All”.