Is It Fair To See South Africa As The Employment Bureau For The Region?

Is It Fair To See South Africa As The Employment Bureau For The Region?

South Africa can’t be looked at as the employment bureau for the region, Botswana President Ian Khama said at last week’s regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Harare, according to an IndependentOnline report.

South African President Jacob Zuma took a pounding from African governments over xenophobic attacks, but Khama’s was a voice of support.

Zuma made a controversial criticism of African leaders in his Freedom Day speech, saying they created adverse conditions in their countries that drove people to South Africa to seek a better life.

Khama has been an outspoken critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for mismanaging his country, IOL reports. Large numbers of Zimbabweans have flowed into Botswana since 2000.

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s information minister, said Zuma was justifying xenophobia by blaming African countries for attacks.

Mozambique said it will boycott a tourism fair in Durban this month because of the attacks. A Malawian news website said it was discussing joint measures with other SADC and A.U. countries against South Africa.

South African officials said Zuma told leaders that South Africa would tighten immigration laws and deploy troops to all borders to curb an influx of illegal immigrants, IOL reports.

Officials said leaders also discussed what they should do to strengthen their economies to encourage people to stay home.

However, Mugabe told journalists at the summit that Zimbabweans are “not pushed by their governments” to leave and go to South Africa, IOL reports.

“They go voluntarily…. They think South Africa is heaven…” Mugabe said.