An Exploration of the Safety and Security Experiences of African Foreign Nationals in Durban, South Africa

Samuel Fikiri Cinini, Sazelo Michael Mkhize

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In South Africa, the safety and security of African foreign nationals are characterised by xenophobic violence, which, according to scholars, has become a perennial feature in post-apartheid South Africa. Through the use of a qualitative approach, this research explores the persistent issues that threaten African foreign nationals in their daily in Durban. This article is a segment of a research project that used in-depth structured interviews with 50 African foreign nationals aged from 19-year-old and above, who were purposively selected. The main aim of the study was to explore the safety and security experiences of African foreign nationals in Durban. It was found that offences, such as physical assault (i.e., Grievous Bodily Harm - GBH), arson, rape, injuries, verbal abuse, house robberies, property damage and discrimination were serious crimes perpetrated against African foreign nationals that were often characterised by xenophobic violent attacks. The findings revealed serious economic and security challenges affecting foreign nationals and their total social wellbeing. The study concludes that xenophobia is a mere politically driven phenomenon because politicians or the government have failed to deliver services to its population, which itself becomes an element of anger or frustration among poor local citizens of which African foreign nationals are scapegoated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of African Foreign Affairs (JoAFA)
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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