Xenophobia victims dismiss SA marketing exercise
by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – EFFORTS by a South African agency tasked to promote the image of South Africa have lately been dismissed as a public relations gimmick in the wake of xenophobic tensions.
Brand South Africa has been involved in initiatives to spruce the country’s image amid the deadly violence that has claimed several lives and left more than 2 000 homeless in recent weeks.
“As much as Brand South Africa would want to make the country look Paradise to foreigners, majority Africans doubt this. This is worsened by the government’s blitz on townships and suburban dominated by foreigners.
“I strongly believe xenophobia in South Africa will take ages to deal with because it is institutionalised,” said Malvin Kondowe of Malawi.
Audrey Mwape of Zambia, who was injured during the recent xenophobic violence, dismissed Brand South Africa’s efforts.
“Yes, as a business company, you can fight that we both hands, but the majority foreigners do not believe in those statements without proper action backing of the kings, government and state departments,” said Mwape.
Ismail Mustafa from Somalia, who was a victim of both the recent and previous xenophobic said the efforts by Brand South Africa to market the country as peaceful were “a fluke”.
“It is just like telling the world that the lion can stay with zebras without planning to eat them. I appeal to South Africa to live peacefully with other foreign nationals,” Mustafa said.
He said on two occasions, some xenophobic South African nationals, looted and destroyed his tuckshops.
On Thursday, Brand South Africa had issued press statements insinuating efforts were progressing to quell xenophobic violence.
“Brand South Africa calls on all African Nation Brands to Play a Part in building Africa’s Competitiveness and support each other’s efforts in order for Africa to prosper collectively.
“We reiterate our commitment to a better Africa and a better world,” Alice Puoane, Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer, said in the statement.
– CAJ News
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