Launch of EU-KAS-DDP Migration Project - Auslandsbüro Südafrika
The City of Ethekwini could not have been a much better place to launch the project. Not only because DDP the lead organisation on the project is based here, but the city has witnessed the flare-ups in anti-immigrant violence in the last couple of years. This anti-immigrant violence commonly referred to as xenophobia and sometimes as Afrophobia. It is not yet clear why KwaZulu-Natal leads regarding anti-immigrant violence. In terms of numbers, Gauteng takes the lead in attracting migrants, yet does not experience the level of anti-immigrant sentiments found in Durban. The project will engage with some of the issues around the causes of the xenophobic violence in Durban. Select geographical areas have been identified due to them being xenophobic hotspots. The areas that the project will focus on are: Umlazi, Isiphingo, KwaMashu, KwaMakhutha and Sydenham. At the heart of the project is the promotion of social cohesion. The project seeks to reduce conflict between locals and immigrants in the identified areas and the greater Durban Metropolitan area through various activities. Firstly, the project would seek to foster changes in behaviours and attitudes by locals towards immigrants. This will be done by encouraging more interaction between these two communities. The project is premised on that one of the main drivers of conflict between migrants and locals is the lack of economic opportunities. In this regard, the project has deliberately anchored itself around economic activities in the selected townships. As part of nurturing dialogue and integration, the project will concern itself with a cross-pollination of business ideas and activities between migrants and locals. The project will use different fora and involve various key stakeholders in its outreach activities. It is hoped that at the end of the three-year cycle of that the project, migrants and locals would be engaged in economic activities that are so intertwined that decoupling or violence between them would not be an option.