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2008-05-13: City condemns xenophobic violence

THE City of Johannesburg condemns and disassociates itself from the attacks on foreign nationals that took place in Alexandra, North of Johannesburg today. We call on communities to act in a responsible manner and remain calm.

Johannesburg has a long history of peaceful co-existence between South Africans and foreign nationals. For years, we have stayed, worked, played and worshipped God together. Ours has been and will continue to be an inclusive City.

The City has a policy on managing migration and seeks to ensure that all those who live within its jurisdiction abide by the country's laws and are treated fair in keeping with the country's human rights guidelines. A Migrant's desk was established in 2007 to assist migrant communities with a wide range of services including advice on how to access services and information about economic and social opportunities.

We know that migration and urbanization can not be wished away or halted. The only viable option is to manage it. The City will, on the 25th of May 2008, celebrate Africa Day. We are building Johannesburg into a world class African City. While doing this, we recognize our cultural diversity. We should always strive to build a vibrant and inclusive society.

We remain committed to getting rid of challenges of poverty. We strongly disapprove of the violent attacks that occurred in Alexandra township and are calling on communities to refrain from any violent attacks or xenophobic activities. Those who choose to be intolerant and personally attack immigrants are sowing seeds of division not very different from our racist apartheid past. We are confident reason will prevail and with the work we're doing, more light will be generated.