An eNCA journalist tweeted an excerpt of the ANC’s new manifesto, which included a point on the party’s commitment to getting tough on undocumented immigrants.
The party says it will “take tough measures against undocumented immigrants involved in criminal activities in the country or in cross-border crimes, including those involved in illegal trading and selling adulterated food in townships and villages”.
While the DA has made the issue of border control a major one in their current campaign, the ANC has echoed the party’s call for tighter borders.
At his speech at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the need for “effective border management” to ensure the safety of South Africa and its people.
Not long after it was revealed that the ANC is committing to tougher border control, the DA’s Joburg-based mayor Herman Mashaba found himself at the centre of accusations of Xenophobia over similar issues.
The Joburg mayor has been accused of xenophobia several times before.
These accusations are as a result of several comments, including him saying that “foreigners‚ whether legal or illegal‚ are not the responsibility of the city” and that his municipality “will only provide accommodation exclusively to South Africans”.
Some described what they feel is a double standard, suggesting that while Mashaba is often accused of Xenophobia, Ramaphosa and the ANC are not often subjected to the same accusations.
Last year, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe (who has since voluntarily stepped aside from the position pending the outcome of investigations into sexual harassment accusations levelled against him) released a statement in which the party reacted to what many believed was Xenophobic vigilante violence in Soweto targeting Somali shopkeepers by calling the violence a “disturbing” reaction to vendors selling illicit goods that may endanger the health of consumers.
“The health and wellbeing of our people are of primary concern to the ANC. The fact that this is leading to instability and violence is a disturbing development,” the statement said.
“Some are beginning to take the law into their own hands and are conducting their own inspection, manhandling suspects and destroying what they find to be expired and allegedly fake food products.
“We call on the people not to take the law into their own hands and further encourage them to report such incidences to relevant authorities.”
A Somali shopkeeper told TimesLive that the violence was caused, at least in part, by an announcement by the health ministry that an investigation into the alleged selling of suspected expired or counterfeit goods would take place.