The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development, Cllr Mpho Phalatse, recently called for more tolerance among communities, saying the majority of people living in Johannesburg were migrants.
“The vast majority of us were not born here. While there are some who feel more entitled than others, all of us have African ties. As South Africans, we are Africans first,” MMC Phalatse said.
“Many of us are migrants in Johannesburg,” she said, emphasising that ubuntu would help unite all Africans. She said although other African countries contributed to South Africa’s struggle for freedom, foreign nationals had to abide by the country’s laws and to join forces in the fight against crime. “Other Africans were one with us during the struggle. They were there for us when we needed them. But every country has laws.
For the sake of harmony, please abide by the law. My message to you is that we’re one, but let’s respect one another. We must unite against what is wrong,” she said, adding that proper immigration controls were necessary to keep tabs on who was in the country and for cities such as Johannesburg to plan for services offered to communities. Cllr Phalatse said plans were under way to establish a centre in Yeoville to promote social cohesion, skills transfer and provide facilitators “who will help us experience Africans in a different way”.
The centre will be ready for use by the time the 2018 Africa Day celebrations are held.
The City’s libraries, under its Library and Information Services, are hosting several events across all seven regions aimed at educating Johannesburg residents about Africa Day through books, storytelling, cultural performances, food and African games.