Xenophobic and other incidents that lead to displacement are an ongoing facet of life in South Africa.
During most Service delivery Protests, violence has been a norm and specially violence against foreign nationals in these townships.
People are being attacked, shops looted, destroyed and foreigners forced to move out.
The situation in South Africa, especially in the Gauteng area with regards to xenophobic attitudes is critical as we lead up towards the local govt elections in 2011, and it is especially critical that the operational aspects of the project be maintained.
We at DMPSP have highlighted our 3 priority CIVIC SUPPORT PROJECTS :
a. MONITORING : We intend to increase our monitoring activities around issues which lead to displacement. Specifically those of informal settlements which are prone to Flooding, Fires and xenophobic violence / political Instability.
In 2010 we have seen an increase in Xenophobic Attitudes and incidents of violence which has primarily been focused on Foreign Traders. We will also be monitoring politically related violence in South Africa as we head up towards the Local Govt Elections this year.
As the deadline for registration of Zimbabweans expired on the 31 Dec 2010, we intent to increase our monitoring with regards to Repatriation Activities being undertaken by the South African Govt. Specifically we will monitor the activities around arrests by the Police and Home Affairs, as well as keeping a close eye on the activities taking place at the Lindela Detention and Repatriation center.
We are also expanding our monitoring and assessment activities to Cape Town this Year.
b. INTERVENTIONS : In 2010 DMPSP started conducting conflict resolution interventions in areas that had been affected by Xenophobic Violence. We intend to increase such interventions this year in order to prevent any displacement through violence. We will be conducting awareness campaigns and workshops in communities in order to assist in bringing about community cohesion and tolerance.
c. SHELTER KITS : Our experience with issues of displacement, as well as having noted that there is a lack of availability of shelters to accommodate people that have been displaced, has necessitated that we acquire and have on standby SHELTER KIT's to deploy at any time to places where shelter is immediately required for displaced people. In 2010 alone we experienced about half a dozen major incidents of displacement in Gauteng Province alone, proper emergency shelters where hardly available and many hundreds of people were left homeless and without any shelter for days before any assistance could reach them. We would like to have Emergency Shelter Kits that we can deploy at a moment's notice to immediately provide vulnerable people with shelter and assistance.