CoRMSA celebrates Africa Day commemorating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963. It is a day when we can all stand together and celebrate our African roots and history regardless of nationalities. However, since the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South African, there has been a continuous division amongst persons based our country of birth. As a result, shops are looted, many lives are lost, families divided, children orphaned a clear indication that the South African government and people have not made significant progress in promoting unity and tolerance. In addition, the South African Department of Home Affairs has closed three Refugee Reception Offices that service refugees and asylum seekers in accessing their documentation. These closures, coupled with the long delay in conducting refugee status determinations, have increased the vulnerability of refugees due to lack of access to documentation causing many legitimate asylum seekers to become undocumented. ‘Operation Fiela’ being carried out by SAPS and SANDF, has been conducting mass arrests of non-nationals, many of whom are legitimately in the country. CoRMSA calls upon the Department of Home Affairs to respect the rule of law by complying with the judgment of the High Court by re-opening the offices in Johannesburg, providing full services in the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Offices, and refraining from closing any more offices throughout the country.
CoRMSA calls upon all leaders from royalty to political, religious and other civil society structures to refrain from making utterances that contain hate speech and fuel intolerance in communities instead of focusing on building communities of peace and diversity.
For further information please contact:
Ms Roshan Dadoo – Acting Executive Director – CoRMSA –082 816 2799/011 403 7560 email@example.com
Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule – National Programme Coordinator – CoRMSA – 078 287 1485/011 403 7560 firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa is available to view and download here:
The attacks against foreigners in KwaZulu Natal, Johannesburg and other parts of our country are shameful.
AND IF WE CLOSE OUR EYES, OR TURN AWAY, WE BRING SHAME ON OURSELVES.
The attacks present South Africans to the world as a barbaric, violent and murderous nation. We are not. Our march will show another South Africa to ourselves and the world.
We are the country of NELSON MANDELA , OLIVER TAMBO and all people who gave their lives for freedom. In our freedom struggle, we had vital help from our sisters, brothers and comrades throughout Africa and the world. In 1994, we voted for peace, not war. We have the fairest Constitution in the world – that protects ALL who live here.
WE LINK ARMS with our sisters and brothers from other countries who live with us here in South Africa. We are proud of our extended family that transcends national borders, languages, cultures and religions – because we need each other, because we are one!
WE WILL MARCH to celebrate our solidarity with everyone from other countries living amongst us – particularly the poor, people seeking refuge, and political and economic migrants who have come to our country to try and survive.
WE WILL MARCH to show our deep concern and solidarity to all poor communities where chronic unemployment, inadequate housing, rising crime and bad schools have become the norm.
WE WILL MARCH to appeal to people who live in poor communities not to resort to violence, to not be distracted by blaming people from other countries who are also struggling. The poor and vulnerable of the world must unite!
WE WILL MARCH to expose employers who play one group of workers off against another in order to maximize their profit.
They are part of the problem right across our Africa and the world. Workers, do not be fooled: recognize that it is only by uniting workers and communities within and across national borders, that a real challenge to poverty, pay and conditions can be fought and won.
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY HELPED END APARTHEID. Likewise, we must build unity within and across our national boundaries. Our struggle against all forms of oppression and discrimination continues. Authorities must listen to our pleas, and improve and protect our communities and respond positively.
WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. We must treat one another with respect, and live our lives in DIGNITY.
It is time for all good people to come together. We are the majority. We reject division. It is time for real change!
DON’T TURN AWAY. Don’t make excuses.
Join us! Come from your school, workplace, union, your church, your university, your business, your community. Take three hours to march for life, dignity and equality.
Together, let us show the world and our countrymen and women that another South Africa exists – where solidarity defeats xenophobia!
On 30-31 March 2015, the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa participated on the International Peace Youth Group – WARP SUMMIT FOR AFRICA: VUSA IZIZWE NAMHLANJE World Peace Summit, which took place at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. CoRMSA presented to the plenary Youth called “A culture of peace amidst xenophobia, racism and violent protest” under the topic : “The Freedom Charter says that South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation – not war.” This should clearly be what we strive to maintain within the borders of our own country as well – within our communities, within our homes. How are the youth able to ensure that a culture of peace is promoted where inequalities and social injustices are perpetuated giving rise to xenophobia, racism and violent protesting? As the youth we cannot be part of a future we do not create. So let us create one based on human dignity, equality and freedom”. The young leaders from civil society combine their strengths to discuss how a culture of peace can be promoted in the context of continuous realities faced by ordinary people on the African continent.
CoRMSA presented a speech that talks to practical issues of xenophobia, racism and violent protest, and especially the impacts and the role the youth can play in combating those. CoRMSA’s speech was well received by the audience as it touched mostly on the practical issues happening in the communities and recommendation to the youth in building communities of peaceful coexistence. The speech also covered the aspect of social integration and cohesion of foreign nationals in communities. Furthermore, the speech also carried an educational aspect, informing the youth on issues of migration in South Africa and the African continent as a whole.
The summit was well attended as it had various dignitaries, Heads of State, Traditional leaders, Ambassadors, Interfaith Group, UN agencies, Religious Leaders and various communities including non-national communities. In closing of the summit, Honorable Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, Mr. Malusi Gigaba made a positive remarks of condemning the current xenophobia attacks of foreigners in South Africa by the local communities and urged all political leaders, Traditional leaders and communities to stop making statement that fuels xenophobia in communities.