Hostile hosts and a forgotten history
2019, leading up to a national election, has had an unwelcoming beginning for non-nationals living in South Africa. Government officials in various departments have made streams of accusatory comments against them. People not born in but who consider their current home South Africa have fallen victim to blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement. This is an opportunist strategy by officials who fail to recognise the historical feature of migration in building the country they attempt to govern.
Migration from the SADC region has featured in South African history from the 1800’s, making black African migrants an intricate part of South Africa’s social, economic and political life. A country that has been built and relied on migrant laborers is being seen to turn its back on the lives of many people who consider this place part of their understood home. Changes in migratory patterns have occurred post-1994, with migrants coming from further north on the continent, however these numbers are far fewer than the exaggerated figures described by officials.