Visible and Vulnerable: New Asian migrant communities in South Africa

Presented by
Seminar Date
February 17, 2010
Recent Asian migrants to South Africa, while spared the worst of the xenophobic violence which erupted in May and June of 2008, remain highly visible and vulnerable. Communities of Chinese, Pakistani and Bangladeshis, still relatively small, have grown rapidly in the past decade. New migrants tend to settle in areas historically occupied by Indian and Chinese South Africans, the descendents of earlier generations of migrants. Confusion with these older, localised communities as well as a slightly higher socio-economic standing as small shopkeepers and entrepreneurs have buffered them from the worst expressions of xenophobia; however, they are targeted by corrupt officials and criminals for extortion, robbery and hijacking because of their vulnerability as small, independent retailers and their high visibility.
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