Publication Date: 16/04/2015

16 April 2015

The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association), on behalf of all member banks, unequivocally condemns the xenophobic attacks carried out on people from different countries on the African continent and some Asian countries.

South Africa prides itself on standing at the forefront of promoting Africa as a continent of opportunity, a continent that is ready to receive private sector investment and promote African unity and collaboration. These are all critical to the continent achieving its potential and promoting the role emerging economies such as ours should be playing in global affairs.

South Africa has made significant progress in developing its economy and offers opportunities to citizens from all over the world to contribute to that growth. We need skills and investment to contribute to inclusive growth that benefits our population. Foreign investment and skills from different parts of the world are critical contributors to this. The xenophobic tendencies displayed currently inhibit both the attraction of skills and investment. The vast majority of people who choose to make South Africa their home, particularly those from Africa and Asia, are productive people who often create small businesses, employ South Africans and introduce innovative business practices that add value to the overall development of enterprise in South Africa.

 “The South African banking sector condemns the attacks on foreign nationals” said Sizwe Nxasana, the chairman, of The Banking Association.” The South African private sector is a significant investor in other countries and a number of South African banks have developed meaningful operations in the rest of Africa.  We have very positive experiences in the countries we operate in and particularly appreciate the cooperation and hospitality accorded to South African citizens by our neighbours”.  

We acknowledge the fact that many South African citizens are unemployed. However, the assertion that immigrants are displacing South African’s from jobs or enterprises is not founded on empirical data. Instead, data suggests immigrants make a positive contribution to job creation. Across the African and Asian continents we face the same challenges as our economies begin to truly emerge. The people of Africa need to work together to unlock the potential of our rich and diverse continent, to the advantage of everyone and to create sustainable growth for future generations.

Given our history and our track record of tolerance and reconciliation, South African’s should not tolerate xenophobia in any form and against any community. We note that the President is addressing Parliament on this issue today and support all efforts by Government to deal with the matter.

Sizwe Nxasana

For any follow-up to this release, please contact:
Thenji Nhlapo
Media and Communication Officer
011-645 6729
076-791 6918