South Africa is likely to see increased anti-foreigner and other populist sentiments in the coming years as it teeters on the edge of becoming a failed state, says professor Eddy Maloka, adjunct professor at Wits University’s school of governance, public and development management.
Speaking to the SABC, Maloka said that there would be increased fighting and violence in the country, whether there are foreign nationals or not. He added that South Africa is not unique in its acceptance of foreigners from neighbouring countries, but other countries do not see the same level of violence or xenophobia.
“The problems that we have with migrant nationals are a reflection of the problems we have as a country. There is no way that the migrants can be the source of unemployment and the source of crime in South Africa.
“They only reflect the state of the country in those specific areas. They can exacerbate them (but are not the cause).”
Maloka said that there has been a complete collapse of local government in certain areas, with migrants taking advantage of this broken system.
“Government has collapsed in a number of areas across the country (and) we are seeing inner-cities collapse and degenerate. They have not picked up waste in the Johannesburg city centre for a number of years, so you can’t blame migrants for that – those are reflections of the problems we have in government.”
Maloka said that a number of factors are responsible for the country nearing a failed state, with a crisis in the ruling ANC being a key factor. He noted that this crisis had effectively been exported from the ANC into wider society through a dearth of leadership and a system of patronage.
He noted that this system is somewhat functional when there is a wide network of people to pull from, but that this is no longer the case, and the country now has a much weaker calibre of leadership and governance.
“It is not a problem that South African have caused themselves, it is problem that has been caused by the ruling party.”