Xenophobic violence cost R30-million in KZN

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Police resorted to rubber bullets and a water cannon to disperse the angry crowds during xenophobic attacks in the Durban CBD.

Police resorted to rubber bullets and a water cannon to disperse the angry crowds during xenophobic attacks in the Durban CBD.

WEB_PHOTO_XENOBURBS_140415.jpg

Police resorted to rubber bullets and a water cannon to disperse the angry crowds during xenophobic attacks in the Durban CBD.

Police resorted to rubber bullets and a water cannon to disperse the angry crowds during xenophobic attacks in the Durban CBD.

DURBAN - Xenophobic violence earlier this year cost the eThekwini Metro municipality and KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial more than R30 million.

Speaking at a conference on conflict-induced migration, Eric Apelgren, the head of the municipality’s International and Governance Relations Department, said that this amount did not include the support that came from civil society and non-governmental organisations.

“It cost the municipality and the provincial government R30.4 million, but it does not include the blankets and the food that others donated to the (displaced) migrants,” said Apelgren.

He said that apart from 140 migrants located on a farm who were demanding refugee status in the United States and Canada, all the migrants who had fled xenophobic violence had either been reintegrated or moved on.

Apelgren was one of the speakers at the conference, titled “Conflict-Induced Migration in Africa: Maximizing New Opportunities to Address its Peace, Security and Inclusive Development Dimensions”.

Foreign owned businesses, especially in Durban’s townships bore the brunt of local anger that saw seven people killed and thousands displaced.