Xenophobic attacks on African immigrants in the port city of Durban, which escalated over the past week could cost South Africa high-yielding investments provided by the international business communities.

Harold Ngalawa, the high-profile macro-economist at the University of KwaZulu Natal, believes this could lead to social instability, a situation investors believe carries too much risk.

Another economist, who did not want to be named, said the reasons for violence against immigrants was that most black South Africans were unemployed. “This unemployed group vent their frustrations on foreigners because they feel less fortunate in comparison” he said. Most foreigners are said to be either gainfully employed or own a business. This is against statistics, which indicate that 25 percent of black South African are unemployed.

There are also claims that the attacks in the port city of Durban were fuelled by statements made by Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini. He reportedly said foreigners should go back to their home countries because “they are changing the nature of South African communities with their goods.” He added, in speech at a “moral regeneration” event in Pongola, KwaZulu Natal province, that foreigners are enjoying the wealth that should have been meant for local people.

President Jacob Zuma has, however, spoken out against the attacks on foreigners in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, saying the government is “deeply concerned”.

“We need to discuss and agree to be orderly, not chaotic. We don’t want to show anger because anger does not build nations, it destroys nations,” Eye Witness News quoted him as saying.

Source: ventures africa