Ubuntu and xenophobia in South Africa’s international migration

  • Mutsa Murenje
Keywords: South Africa, migration, xenophobia, ubuntu, social work


The apartheid regime in South Africa was notorious for its gratuitous display of authority in the form of brutality and human rights excesses. Those who partook in the struggle against apartheid did so in an attempt to realise fundamental human rights and a conclusion to all forms of discrimination. The end of apartheid in South Africa in early 1994, therefore, heralded a new era and, indeed, a new political and economic dispensation in which the human rights (political and economic freedoms) of all people would become paramount. The victory of the anti-apartheid forces at the end of race-based politics was characterised by joyance, hope, and expectation for many, including foreign nationals from mostly contiguous countries. Sadly, however, South Africa is today known for being a highly iniquitous country with high poverty and unemployment levels. Tolmay (2019), for instance, reported that unemployment in South Africa had stood at 29% in the first quarter thus affecting mostly young people. This treatise has as its prime motif the interrogation of the efficacy of the concept of Ubuntu in the face of widespread xenophobic violence against African migrants and their businesses in South Africa.

Keywords: South Africa, migration, xenophobia, ubuntu, social work


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934