Migration is a politically charged and increasingly divisive issue, globally and in SA. In the US, for example, migration has been used as a trump card (pun intended) for electioneering. The country heads to its midterm elections this week and how the government under President Donald Trump has dealt with migration will come fully into focus. There could be lessons for SA, where the issue of migration is often so politically charged that it turns violent. In May 2008, after years of simmering tensions, this manifested in the first bout of xenophobic violence. More than 60 people lost their lives. Hundreds fled their homes and many have not returned. In April 2015, similar violence erupted — more lives lost, more homes destroyed and many more displaced. In the years between 2008 and 2015 and since, less widespread violence towards foreigners continued. The source of the tensions never really eased long enough to be fully forgotten.

Enter the DA. With a fiery mayor in Johannesbu...

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