Xenophobia across the class divide: South African attitudes towards foreigners 2003-2012
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In May 2008 anti-immigrant riots in South Africa displaced more than a hundred thousand people. Despite the media attention that the riots attracted, there has been no study that presents trend data on anti-immigrant sentiment for the period after 2008. This paper uses data from the nine rounds of the South African Social Attitudes Survey over the period 2003-2012 to fill this gap and test the success of government commitments to reduce anti-immigrant prejudice. The results reveal that attempts to combat xenophobia have been ineffectual, with anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent and widespread in 2012. Afrophobia was observed, with a majority of citizens identifying foreign African nationals as the group they least wanted to come and live in South Africa. The government is advised to urgently address the alarming and widespread pervasiveness of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa.