You’ve all heard it before…”foreigners are taking our jobs”….”oh and our women too”. Welcome to Xenophobia!
Before I rant about xenophobia I want to make something abundantly clear. Xenophobia is not a soley South African problem. Just visit any country that has a decent foreign population and you’ll see what I mean. I use South Africa as an example simply because I live here.
So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I was wondering about the logic behind xenophobia the other day. What exactly is a viable argument for wanting people to stay on “their side” of these geometric lines drawn by some old white men hundreds of years ago? And does chasing “kwerekweres” out of the country actually achieve anything?
The Centre for Development Enterprise (CDE) in a 2010 report put the approximate number for illegal immigrants in South Africa at about 2.5 million. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, there are an additional 500,000 legal immigrants in South Africa, thus bringing the total to about 3 million. Taking the country’s population to be about 49 million would imply about 6% of the population is “foreign”.
So here is my question: if we get rid of foreigners, would there be a 6% improvement in our lives? Our incomes, would they go up by 6%? Or our health sector, would it become 6% more proficient? The lost productivity due to strikes, would it be reduced by 6%? The schools in rural Eastern Cape, would they be 6% less crowded? Would Limpopo students get 6% more textbooks? In fact the whole education system in the country, would it become 6% better?
Let’s not forget the women. 6% of the women would be back on the market right? And the nation’s income-to-debt ration would reduce by 6% hey? The unemployment rate which stands at round about 26% – that would be reduced by 6%. Right?
Maybe the xenophobics are right? Maybe we should get rid of the foreigners. Who among us wouldn’t want a 6% raise? I certainly would love an extra 6% in my wallet….oh wait, I’m a foreigner. D’oh!
ps: according to the xenophobic folks, blacks are foreigners, whites are tourists. Don’t get us mixed up
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