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[Updated] Activists canvass Johannesburg ahead of anti-xenophobia march

Written by Lungile Thamela

About 200 activists from civil society organisations spent yesterday canvassing Johannesburg’s inner-city ahead of tomorrow’s march in protest of recent xenophobic violence that is expected to draw 30,000.

Treatment Action Campaign members were among the 200 activists from a range of civil society organisations that canvassed the Johannesburg inner-city yesterday

Treatment Action Campaign members were among the 200 activists from a range of civil society organisations that canvassed the Johannesburg inner-city yesterday

Activists from organisations such as AIDS lobby group the Treatment Action Campaign and access to information non-profit the Right2Know Campaign,  canvassed Gandhi Square in central Johannesburg yesterday to drum up support for the protest expected to take place tomorrow.

Former COSATU Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi also joined activists and pledged his support for tomorrow’s march, which will begin at 1 pm* at Hillbrow’s Pieter Roos Park. Vavi said that he hoped the march would prompt many South Africans to reflect about the real, underlying causes of social ills like unemployment instead of scapegoating foreigners.

Recent research by the fact-checking organisation AfricaCheck found that contrary to popular claims that “foreigners were stealing jobs,” foreign migrants represented just four percent of the formal workforce.

Executive Director of the public interest non-profit Section27 Mark Heywood said that he hoped the march will bring peace to the country following a recent spate of attacks blamed for the deaths of at least seven people.

“We cannot sit back watching while people are dying in a manner that has no justice and that violates human dignity by undermining the Constitution of this country,” Heywood told OurHealth. “We will stand together to say no to xenophobia.”

[Updated 3:59 pm 22 April. This article originally stated that the march would begin at 11am. The march will begin at 1pm at Pieter Roos Park however the City of Johannesburg will be providing park and ride facilities from Mary Fitzgerald Square from 11am]

About the author

Lungile Thamela

Lungile Thamela is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Gauteng's Johannesburg Health District.

1 Comment

  • Details for Peoples March Against Xenophobia….please join and share thus information:
    Gather from 1pm at Pieter Roos Park, Empire Rd, Hillbrow/park town. March leaves at 2pm through Hillbrow, winding up at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
    1. If you are taking a private car you must park at Sci Bono next to Mary Fitgersld Square. Shuttle buses will operate from 11am to Pieter Roos Park where the march starts. No shuttles at the end of the March.
    2. There will be over 2000 marshals and a strong JMPD and SAPS presence.
    3, Water will be provided along the route. Please bring water bottle or cup. And there will be portaloos at the start and end.
    4. There will be short speeches and music at the beginning, and a brief programme of speakers and entertainment at the end.
    9. Estimated end time is 4.30.
    This is going to be HUGE! Be part of saying NO to xenophobia and YES to solidarity.