Southern Africa Trade Union Co-ordination Council

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

The Southern Africa Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC) representing 19 national federations in 13 SADC countries with a combined membership of about 6 million working men and women strongly condemns the recent spate of xenophobic violent attacks targeting black African foreigners in South Africa. It is saddening that violence against black foreigners in South Africa had killed at least seven people and forced hundreds of black African migrants out of their homes and seeking refugee elsewhere. This callous action mainly perpetrated by black South African individuals and groups and meted on their fellow African brothers and sisters is totally unacceptable. These are the same brothers and sisters whose countries sacrificed a great deal to secure the liberties South African people enjoy today.

In this regard SATUCC welcomes the swift and immediate remedial measures taken by the South African Government to address the violence against black African foreigners. However, we implore our affiliates to engage with their Government to seek long term and lasting solutions to xenophobia in all its manifestations. The South African Government has a duty and responsibility to provide security and protection to all foreigners on their soil. Equally our three affiliates in South Africa namely, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU) have a critical role to play to stop violence against foreigners and including migrant workers. As trade unions we need to defend the values and principles we stand for among them human and trade union rights, equity, social justice and solidarity.

SATUCC extends its deepest condolences to the families, relatives and friends of all those who lost their lives in this violence.