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ANC statement on recent community protests & fight against crime

28 February 2017

The African National Congress has noted with concern recent community protests on various - equally important - issues including crime, human trafficking and drug abuse. In certain instances these protests have taken the form of "xenophobic" attacks, masking the real issue being the fact that our communities are tired of the unacceptably high levels of crime and joblessness; compounded by the employment of illegal immigrants by unscrupulous employers in an effort to circumvent South Africa's stringent and worker-friendly labour laws.

South Africans are not xenophobic. South Africa houses more immigrants than many other countries on this and other continents including Europe. In our country, immigrants are integrated in our communities, living and working togetherwith South African nationals. The contestation for scarce resources and in some instances, poor relations between South Africans and non-nationals as well as inflammatory and irresponsible utterances by those who should be leaders have unfortunately created a climate where the genuine grievances of our people are opportunistically used by criminal elements to attack foreign nationals and perpetuate criminal activities.

At all times every effort should be made to ensure that the problems confronting our people are called by their rightful names - thus focusing government and society as a whole to deal with them decisively. These include tightening our Border Management apparatus, dealing with the unacceptable proliferation into our country of undocumented immigrants, intensifying the fight against crime, drugs and substance abuse as well as the accelerated creation of much needed jobs in the economy to ensure that it is able to serve all our people.

Members and supporters of the ANC are called upon to swell the ranks of Community Policing Forums (CPF) which are organs of peoples power, established to ensure that working with law enforcement agencies, communities take charge of the safety of their localities. We also call on society at large to lead the charge, within our legal framework, against the destabilizing effects of shielding undocumented and illegal immigrants within our communities and our homes. This would also include reporting to the authorities drug peddlers and other criminals, South African and otherwise, living within our communities. The law enforcement agencies themselves should spare no effort and without fear or favour, ensure that they apprehend, charge and convict those criminal elements within our midst who opportunistically use the genuine grievances and protests of our people for violence and other criminal activities.

The fight against crime is an apex priority of the ANC-led Government requiring committed, coordinated and determined action by all social partners. The ANC calls on all those living in the country, South African and Foreign nationals, to unite against the challenges confronting us, engage in genuine dialogue to create safer communities for all and support government to create an environment that reverses the tide against inequality, unemployment and poverty.

Issued by: The African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
National Spokesperson
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
National Communications Manager