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The ANC’s social transformation committee recently stated that undocumented foreign nationals are placing a strain on social services. According to committee member Thokozile Xasa, undocumented migrants are also linked to “issues such as street stabbings and all of that”. This flies in the face of previous stances by the ANC, in which the organisation downplayed the issue of illegal migrants and accused South Africans of being “xenophobic” when, deeply frustrated by the effects of an uncontrolled influx of people, they attacked migrants. This flip-flopping on the issue highlights the absence of a coherent response to the problem. When violent flare-ups have occurred between locals and undocumented migrants ANC politicians have been quick to condemn locals haughtily as xenophobically envious of migrants. This condemnation is based on ignorance and a patent laziness to study and understand what is really happening on the ground. Politicians and commentators recently severely criticise...

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