Understanding conflict between locals and migrants in SA: case studies in Atteridgeville and Diepsloot

Tensions stem from a desperate need for jobs, basic services and better living standards – not from xenophobia.

Socio-economic pressures in South Africa are impeding attempts to build social cohesion between locals and foreign-born migrants. Locals see migrants as competitors in every sphere of daily life. Conflict is not rooted in xenophobia but a desperate need for jobs, access to basic services and better living standards. This report discusses the findings of research conducted in Atteridgeville and Diepsloot, two townships in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

About the author

Ringisai Chikohomero is a Research Consultant in the Southern Africa Programme at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria. The field research in Diepsloot and Atteridgeville was led by ISS Researcher Godfrey Mulaudzi. He was supported by ISS Consultant Thato Machabaphala and Stanley Masela. Focus group discussions were facilitated by Phaphama Initiatives, led by Thamsanqa Mzaku.

Image: © Rajesh Jantilal/AFP

Development partners
This report was funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Related content