Our Panelist for the Conference: Yasmin Rajah; Refugee Social Services, Dr. Kwazi Nduli; KZN CPF, Dr. Zungu unpacking the case of KwaDukuza with DDP's Sphamandla Mhlongo.
We hosted the first-ever Migration Conference on the 29th of September at the Elangeni Hotel. The conference was held in partnership with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) under the theme ‘Migration, Security And Migrant Entrepreneurship In South Africa’.
The overall aim of the conference was to contribute toward the goals of the National Plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance which are about building safe communities in which everyone is equal. This conference brought experts from different sectors, security clusters, entrepreneurship, and migration to share knowledge, experiences, and recommendations about what can be done to ensure that migrants play an essential role in building township economies. Representatives were from organizations such as the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Department of Community Safety, Liaison and Transport, Human Sciences Research Council, Ethekwini Municipality, the Red Cross, and refugee social services.
The conference was successful in carrying out its aims which included;
Bringing together researchers, security agencies, and policymakers to explore how existing challenges facing migrants to be fully integrated into communities can be addressed.
Building a community of practice on migration, xenophobic violence, and social cohesion and integration.
Creating a platform for the migrant community and policymakers to exchange ideas about how migrant entrepreneurship contributes to social cohesion in South Africa.
Share experiences, research, and policy proposals that showcase the contribution of migrant entrepreneurship to the local economy.
One of the sessions on the role of communities in combatting xenophobia focused on the case of KwaDukuza and looked at policing, arising insights from the experts including questioning whether SAPS plays a role in perpetuating xenophobic responses to migrant business owners. Responses from the local government representative stress that community dialogues and interventions are crucial for social cohesion towards combatting xenophobic tendencies and strengthening relations in communities. After hearing from the various stakeholder’s present delegates had an opportunity to gather in breakaway sessions for discussions to ensue. The feedback from these sessions is crucial as it informs upcoming interventions and how social cohesion efforts can be strengthened beyond dialogues.
Above Standing: DDP's Sphamandla Mhlongo, and Mbalenhle Mkhize.
Front: Prof. Bheki Mngomezulu Director of CANRAD at the Nelson Mandela University, DDP's Executive Director Dr. Paul Kariuki and Dr. Lubna Nadvi, Senior Lecture at UKZN, during the DDP SONA2024 Public forum in Durban.