It seems apparent, more now than ever, that the xenophobia (intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries) problems in South Africa are affecting the employment rate. As South Africa begins weighing in on just how bad the lack of tourism is affecting them, sources state that the fear of people to come into their country from the outside, even from other parts of Africa, has reduced profits. As profits are what help better the economy there, among the faulted employment system that the country seems to have, the violent acts that have stemmed from the xenophobia are causing deeper concern for many.
The violence in South Africa is enough for people to have concern. Then when adding in the new sting that this past month has brought, as tourists are afraid to step into South Africa, the new concern is that if the violence does not stop, how far down will the economy fall? As many have been killed in the erupted violence in South Africa, police and soldiers have had to step in and take control of the matter. As pictures show just how bad things are, as natives loot, gangs attack, and shops owned by foreigners are destroyed, the country is getting back a bad reputation for tourism.
CEO of South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima, stated that the South Africa has always been marketed by them as the country with welcoming people, warmth in nature. He stated that many are now worried because of the fact that the money that they have spent marketing is depleted, and until the violence ends tourists will not be bringing much money back in. Nzima stated that the violent attacks that have taken place in in the country since the xenophobia started has damaged the brand that they created for the country.
However, the government in South Africa has been working to ensure tourists that they can feel safe in the country. The government states that only a small part of the country was affected by the violence, and since calling in the military, the violence in those portions of the country are mostly contained. The government, too, has been a bit concerned over how the xenophobia is affecting the employment rate in South Africa, but they are hoping to return the country back to the improved reputation that it had retained, especially after the hosting of the 2010 World Cup, which brought in many tourists, and helped tourists feel good about exploring the country. In addition the South African government was secure in their belief that tourism would help the country, as they state that it is inexpensive for tourists to visit the country, due to the low exchange rate of many currencies for theirs. Though, with the violence that had erupted, and even after the government’s statements, tourists are not convinced that they will be safe in South Africa.
As tourism has been calculated to be the fastest growing sector in the country, it was the hope of the government that it would bring in around 500 billion rand per year, and possibly create 225,000 new jobs by 2020. As unemployment has now raised to around 25 percent, in South Africa, the effects of lack of tourists may already have been seen. Sources blame the lack of employment as the reason that natives are attacking foreigners, a peculiar notion due to the fact that lack of tourism is supposedly causing unemployment.
Many state that President Jacob Zuma is not doing much to curb the effects of xenophobia on South Africa, especially as unemployment is becoming a big factor in the event. As the National Development Plan, and many other initiatives created since 2012, aim to increase the amount of employment available, it seems that if the problem of lack of tourism is not handled quickly the country will see a larger decline before they see an increase in employment.
By Crystal Boulware