Violence in South Africa: What a Shame!

Published on 20th May 2008

The current wave of violence being unleashed by native South Africans against fellow African immigrants is a great shame not only to a continent that is struggling to integrate, but a world that is destroying barriers.

We (Africans) have always castigated developed nations for legislating anti-immigration laws against us. If we are practicing the same evil at home - will the countries we have passionately complained against take us seriously? How shall we provide a united front against those barring us from seeking opportunities in their countries if we are fragmented at home?

Holding that immigrants steal local jobs is an erroneous judgment. It is based on the premise that there is only a finite amount of work to be done-hence a finite number of jobs to be filled. On the contrary, immigrants open the market even more. Their new spending opens up a wealth of new employment opportunities in the businesses that would have to open or expand to meet the new economic demands.

The only thing that hampers economic progress are bad government policies; licensing restrictions that make it difficult to set up a business; heavy tax burdens that destroy saving and investment and welfare programs that draw people into the dead end of economic dependency.

Leonard Read in I, Pencil explains that millions of human beings have had a hand in the production of a pencil, none of whom may even know the other. Repatriating immigrants on flimsy grounds is denying our interdependence and holding the erroneous view that human population is a curse. Right thinking people ought to brainstorm on how best to use these ‘new minds’ to help spur productivity!

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