South Africa’s Tourism Threatened By Xenophobic Attacks

One of the disturbing scenes from South Africa

South Africa is likely to lose out on tourism arrivals from other African countries in the coming months following latest reported cases of xenophobic attacks targeted at Nigerians and other African nationals in South Africa.

On Monday, the BBC reported that dozens of people had been arrested in the South African city of Johannesburg after rioters looted shops and torched buildings and vehicles.

Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to quell the unrest on Monday.

Many of the targeted shops are reported to be owned by foreign nationals. But the country’s police minister, Bheki Cele, said, “Criminality rather than xenophobia” was to blame for the “senseless violence”.

The unrest reportedly began on Sunday when a building in Johannesburg’s Central Business District caught fire and collapsed, killing at least three people.

On Monday, the violence spread to the nearby area of Jeppestown before reaching other areas of the city such as Denver, Malvern and Tembisa.

Hundreds of people marched through the Central Business District, where a video shared on social media showed shops being looted and rows of burnt-out cars. At least 41 people were arrested after the march, police said.

A lot of Ghanaians took to Twitter on Monday to register their disappointment with what was going on. Videos from the attacks were widely shared on Ghana Twitter space, which led South Africa to trend in Ghana’s Twitter feed.

Some believed that the attacks would no doubt affect tourism arrivals, especially from Nigeria and Ghana.

“South Africa tourism should at least condemn these attacks,” a Twitter user said.

“Two months ago I was ready to go on a vacation in South Africa but cancelled because of something like this. Please you all should come back home let’s chase these USELESS AND CORRUPT POLITICIANS AWAY FROM POWER. South Africa has nothing compared to Nigeria,” another Twitter user added.