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24/02/2017: COJ working tirelessly to prevent outbreak of xenophobic attacks
24 February 2017
I would like to again reiterate my deep concern for the flare up of xenophobic violence in parts of Gauteng, most recently seen in Tshwane this morning.

I call on all peace loving South Africans to reject groupings which seek to place the blame for crime and unemployment squarely at the feet of foreign residents in our communities.

I implore our residents not to take the law into their own hands and respect human rights and the rule of law.

There is no place for xenophobia in Johannesburg and we are working tirelessly to prevent the outbreak of any violence.

Through the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Division (JMPD), we have taken the following steps to deal with the issues surrounding xenophobia and the threat of xenophobic violence:

• JMPD is working in conjunction with the SAPS to develop an operational plan to respond to any xenophobic threats and attacks that may occur in the City of Johannesburg;
• A central provincial Joint Operations Centre (JOC) is up and running and all law enforcement agencies are represented on the JOC;
• The JOC is convened to pull together all policing resources so that the response to any possible xenophobic threat is reacted to immediately;
• In the City of Johannesburg, focus for deployment will be Rosettenville as well as Alexandra on the basis of intelligence received;
• JMPD Units dealing with public order policing form an integral part of the police that will be deployed in these areas;
• There will also be a simultaneous monitoring of other areas where violence may occur based on past experiences such as Soweto;
• Other JMPD units will also be on standby to assist where required in the event of a possible xenophobic violent outbreak; and
• JMPD officers on the ground are feeding in any information that might point to any organised plans to attack foreigners;

Additionally, the City has also put in place long term interventions for addressing the incidence of xenophobia through a Migrant Help Desk.

The objectives of the Migrant Help Desk include:

• To develop a service frontline that provides migrants with relevant information on available services;
• To develop and conduct anti-xenophobia awareness campaigns with City staff as well as local communities;
• To establish and maintain partnerships with migrant organisations to identify concerns and address service gaps; and
• To liaise with and lobby provincial government departments on issues relating to migrants.

Johannesburg is a cosmopolitan city made up of people from differing socio-economic and political circumstances. There are many people who, out of desperation due to political, social and economic instability in their countries, seek a better life in Johannesburg, and indeed, South Africa as a whole.

In this knowledge, it is essential that national government, and where applicable, provincial government, work with local government to tackle xenophobia in our society. My office remains open to participating in cooperative government interventions against xenophobia.

At all times we place the best interests of all our residents first, both local and foreign.

Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Joburg

For further information, please contact:

Tony Taverna-Turisan
Director of Communications
Office of the Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg
Cellular: 082 920 9708
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on 24 February 2017