Johannesburg is home to residents of diverse cultural backgrounds - most of whom flock into the city for various opportunities in high numbers. There is an influx of up to 10 000 people per month into Johannesburg. This is a clear demonstration that we are a city alive with opportunities and indeed a world class African city that is representative of our continent.
The City has a Migrant Help Desk which is designed to drive the integration of migrants in Johannesburg. The migrants include refugees, asylum seekers, illegal migrants and those moving within the South African boarders. The Desk’s services are extended to people who may find themselves in distress, often as a result of xenophobia, which has no place in a city with a rich history of migration.
The annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation Africa Union on May 25th, known as Africa Day, holds a significant meaning for Johannesburg and its people. The African Union, which comprises of over 50-member states, has brought together the continent to collectively resolve challenges related to armed conflicts, climate change, and poverty. This resulted in the proclamation of the year 2010 as ‘The Year of Peace and Security in Africa’ at the African Union Special Session of the Assembly in Tripoli on August 31, 2009.
As Johannesburg citizens, we need to work together to challenge xenophobic related discrimination against each other to live in harmony. The African Union laid a solid foundation for all of us to do our bid in building the African continent that we wish to live in and be proud of through our collaboration and ubuntu approach in how we relate to each other.
The future of our continent and all the human and cultural elements that make us appeal to the world is in the hands of all African people. How we release these determines the success of our continent, our countries, and especially our cities, as ideal places for tourism, business investments and general advancement that inject life into Africa and its people.
As we today commemorate Africa Day, may all who live, visit or just passing through the City of Johannesburg be reminded of the greater success that comes through our collaboration as African people and see value in its continuation.