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PREMIER’S COORDINATING FORUM STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: DISPLACEMENT OF FOREIGN NATIONALS IN DE DOORNS . 17- 18 March 2010 Langebaan. 1. PURPOSE:.

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PREMIER’S COORDINATING FORUM

STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: DISPLACEMENT OF FOREIGN NATIONALS IN DE DOORNS

17- 18 March 2010

Langebaan


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1. PURPOSE:

  • The report aims to provide progress and critical analyses on theactivities of the Re-integration Secretariat responsible for the De Doorns Intervention as from November 2009 – January 2010.

  • The current crisis in De Doorns is replicated in many areas of the Province in one way or the other. In certain areas of the Cape Metropole, as well as smaller rural areas (such as Riviersonderend), similar but also dissimilar situations exists leading to social conflict between locals and foreigners.

  • In many instances, at the root of the social crisis are structural issues (poverty and general under-development) and institutional challenges (lack of coordination amongst various role players and political or leadership factions amongst implicated and affected parties).

  • At an official level we are doing the best we can but reintegration or sustained peace and stability will not be achieved unless there is full support, expertise, direction and resources at the highest administrative level.


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2. BACKGROUND AND PROCESS :

  • Shortly after the outbreak of the social conflict in De Doorns in November 2009, a Steering Committee, comprising of the Breedevallei Municipality; Cape Winelands District Municipality; various government departments (e.g. Social Development; Labour; Health; Home Affairs; etc. – both Provincial and Local Offices). Also included to this Steering Committee were representatives from civil society (NGOs; FBOs; CBOs; Monitoring organizations like SA Human Rights Commission; UNHCR; Black Sash).

  • The Steering Committee was convened by the Executive Mayor of Breedevallei Municipality, and had two sub-committee groups focusing on Safety Site management (including humanitarian support), and Reintegration.

  • All NGOs were coordinated into a forum under the chairmanship of Social Development who focused mainly on humanitarian support (which included psycho-social assistance; establishment of a playgroup; help-desk).


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BACKGROUND AND PROCESS cont…

  • Initially big numbers of displaced people were mentioned (e.g. 3600). However various officials attempted to register all internally displaced individuals (IDPs), like Home Affairs; CDWs; UNHCR. The latter’s information is more reliable as they profiled individuals and families (with photographed ID cards). The official number of IDPs at the safety site stands at 1200. Access control to the site had been a challenge. A Security Company is contracted to provide access and security services

  • The secretariat was made of three strategic partners namely; Department of the Premier, South African Human Rights Commission and the Breede Valley Municipality with administrative assistance from Department of Provincial Local Government (Public Participation Unit – CDW’s) deployed at the Boland area. The secretariat was lead by the Speaker of the Breede Valley Municipality. The secretariat met every Friday morning. Progress reports were made and presented to the principals i.e. Executive Mayor and local Councillors.


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3. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTS

  • Foreign Nationals are taking their jobs by accepting lower salaries from the farmers

  • Evictions of local people from the farms since early 1990’s

  • High crime rate because of foreign Nationals

  • National, Provincial and Local Government has been neglecting De Doorns

  • Breede Valley Municipality has no respect and appreciation of the contribution of the De Doorns community - only Worcester matters to the municipality

  • Foreign Nationals had acquired properties illegally and renting them out to other Foreign Nationals

  • All people that where arrested must be released

  • No co-operation between them and ward councilor

  • Insinuations that the Executive Mayor had instigated the attacks and eventual displacement of foreign nationals


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CRISES COMMITTEE ENGAGEMENTScont…

  • Labour brokers both registered and unregistered operating in De Doorns

  • Foreign nationals work over weekends and public holidays

  • Ownership of Municipal land and selling thereof to foreign nationals

  • Relocation of South Africans who have erected shacks on the river stream

  • Relocation of the Basotho Nationals currently occupying private land

  • Relocation of people who have erected shacks under electric pylons

  • Wanted to know why Municipality has allowed people to erect shacks closer to N1

  • Lack of co-operation between community and local municipality and

  • Infighting amongst ANC councilors from De Doorns

  • Accused the Municipality of being biased in favor of Worcester

  • Wanted clarity on activities of the two BEE farms that were meant for development of emerging farmers and

  • Wanted to know what happen to the donation from South African Road Agency towards development of the sports field.


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CRISES COMMITTEE ENGAGEMENTScont…

  • The meeting was informed by the Crisis Committee that foreign nationals were used as cannon fodder for the Municipality and government in general to attend to their service delivery needs. Despite this feedback from the municipality the Crisis Committee refused to listen or discuss reintegration. They insisted that the broader community does not want foreign nationals back at Stofland and Ekupumleni

  • The Municipality expressed the desire to close down the camp in order for the sports field to be rehabilitated for the rugby season and schools athletics sports. As a result the Municipality is sitting with a number of letters from different sports bodies requesting the camp to be closed. On top of that the municipality is running-out of funds to maintain the safety site.

  • Based on the above mention developments of the meeting it became very clear to the reintegration team that we will not meet the target date of the 29 January 2010 of closure of the camp and to start the reintegration process. It is therefore imperative for the reintegration team to meet and strategize how to take the process forward.


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7. FURTHER CRITIQUE AND EVALUATION:

  • The Social Conflict situation in De Doorns has escalated to such a level that the adequate resolution thereof lies outside the immediate remit of the Breede Valley Municipality;

  • The Social Conflict situation in De Doorns is not only of local interest, but of provincial-; national- and international interest as well;

  • The Breede Valley Municipality’s image and involvement in the conflict is heavily compromised owing to various allegations; perceived lack of service delivery over a length of time; in-fighting and positioning dynamics; allegations of the concerned ward councilors’ involvement and perceived incitement of the conflict; inadequate communication and engagement with the community; perceptions that Worcester is preferred over De Doorns. Thus they cannot lead the process of reintegration owing to their subjectivity. Furthermore they have finite and limited resources in order to make a real difference;


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7. FURTHER CRITIQUE AND EVALUATION cont…

  • High level delegations from different spheres of government also do not help the process, as they visit the area; make their own “assessments”; create expectations and hope which does not materialize in much; make speeches and statements about various matters; does not bring any resources to bear;

  • Provincial Government’s involvement has been uncoordinated and piecemeal, which lacks clear and solid direction and a concentrated will to resolve the social conflict situation;

  • The local community is not properly represented, so questionable gate-keepers that speak on behalf of the “Local community” frustrate the reintegration process. Their demands also have little to do with the plight of the displaced people and possible reintegration. Instead the employ maximum leverages in order to get the most of service delivery which they were struggling to get from the local municipality for many years;

  • There is a need to find a way past these so-called community leaders and have proper engagement and social dialogues directly with the broader community;

  • The Zimbabwean Embassy has been extremely silent on this whole matter affecting foreigners coming from Zimbabwe to live and work in South Africa.



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8. RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Establishment of a Co-ordination Team comprising of Provincial, (National) and Local government in dealing with problems of social conflict challenges; Including the possible adoption of the Social Conflict Emergency Plan drafted by the Department of Local Government and Housing.

  • This coordinating team must be chaired by a senior official in Provincial Government with the clout and authority to pull everyone together;

  • Design a plan to involve Local Economic Development Units in developing capacity building to assist local entrepreneurs (including foreigners);

  • Capacity building for public representatives (both councilors and officials) to deal with service delivery challenges; adequate communication; manage social conflict;

  • Conflict resolution training for ward development forums and other community structures to deal with social conflict situations ;

  • Resource allocations (human and financial resources) to back up plans and strategies developed.

  • Liaison with the concerned foreign (Zimbabwean) embassy to call on their inputs and involvement in order to assist foreigners coming from their countries to South Africa.



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