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Opinion: South African failures are not because of foreign nationals. Stop starting xenophobia.

One organisations decided to take aim at government officials who blame foreign nationals for South African problems. High-ranking public officials and political leaders in South Africa must stop blaming the country’s high unemployment problem and poor economic status on foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers as this can re-ignite xenophobia, Amnesty International South Africa has warned.

Shenilla Mohamed who is the executive director of Amnesty International South Africa has said “It is easy to blame foreign nationals, refugees and asylum seekers for the country’s high unemployment problems. However the fact of the matter is that an economy like South Africa cannot rely on local skills alone to grow and create jobs,”.

He added that “Evidence shows that some of the biggest and industrialised economies around the world have grown because they have absorbed the foreign workforce and skills to better them.”

Mohamed said blaming foreign nationals for South Africa’s unemployment problem will only fan the xenophobic flames against this vulnerable group in the country. He also said foreign nationals are “always used as scapegoats for various problems” within the country to cover problem.

“High-ranking public officials and politicians must resist the urge to blame foreign nationals for the high unemployment problem facing the country,” she said.

“Public officials and political leaders that accupy high offices must caution against re-igniting xenophobia and must rather seek to unite people in the country instead of dividing them. The words and actions of leaders matter more than most realize.”

Amnesty International South Africa’s coincided with the Economic Freedom Fighters conducting visits to restaurants in Gauteng to check the employment ratio between South African citizens and foreign nationals.

After his tour in the restaurant's, Malema told reporters that the problem at hand was not the foreign nationals but the employers who prioritise foreign workers because they could exploit them.

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Amnesty International Amnesty International South Africa Shenilla Mohamed South Africa South African

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