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Thread: The need for skills training on and around Xenophobia

  1. #1
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    The need for skills training on and around Xenophobia

    Recent events in South Africa perpetrated against foreign residents, immigrants and others has come to highlight the degree to which difference can be turned into conflict.

    It almost goes without say that South Africa is a significant node for urban migration.

    Since the creation of the mines and other large scale industry it always has been, and will probably continue to be so. At no time is this more relevant than it is today.

    Since 1994 South Africa has seen a surge in migrants from all over the world and in particular those from other countries within Africa.

    Many of these migrants are in South Africa legally and contribute meaningfully to the sustenance and development of the South African economy at many levels.

    The current situation provides us as entities working with skills and commanding of varying degrees of resources to begin to engage more thoroughly with the issue of xenophobia and its root causes in today’s society.

    While there have been various initiatives implemented at various levels attempting to increase awareness and acceptance of migrant workers and immigrants, as well as those to bridge conflict between South Africans and recent migrant workers; there has been no large scale, concerted initiative (as yet) either in corporate or public life.

    South Africans need to be able to see the reasons for the high degrees of economic and other types of migration within Southern Africa and be able to contextualise the arrival of such groups historically.

    At the same time people need to be able to develop the skills needed to communicate with “the other” so to speak which in many cases (sadly) comes to be personified by African people from outside of our borders.

    Stereotypes and fears abound and if we are not willing as those with the skills and resource to contribute meaningfully to the total and adequate integration of those who are genuinely deserving of a place in South Africa, the costs to our nation and economy could be incalculable.

    Many of the interventions aimed at eliminating the root causes of some of the negative effects of xenophobia will rest squarely with government, though this does not prevent the deployment of a little creativity on behalf of corporate and other entities.

    Public and private partnerships are possible, and there are already many organizations operating on the ground from various global centres and bodies that could greatly benefit and inform any partnership wishing to embark on an initiative to prevent xenophobia.

    It is time for us, aside from getting involved programmatically and strategically, to begin to examine already existing networks and structures which if properly activated and synergized could already be of great help in combating this serious challenge to our democracy.

    As far as one may argue that dealing with difference in a pluralistic society such as South Africa is a life skill, it may be further said that this skill needs to be all encompassing and entirely developed.

    Many diversity and other skills based trainings and initiatives completely pass over the issue of xenophobia, relegating it often to a sentence in a broader discussion in isms.

    A challenge for many organizations involved in training and development in corporate and other spheres is to begin to focus more on this issue as on e of critical importance.

    We need to see a sustained onslaught of programmes and interventions at all levels and this will require a huge skills base both in terms of strategy and implementation.

    Further this will require us fundamentally to shift the ideas of migration and xenophobia out of the wings and onto centre stage.

    Absolute Ndaba are experts in the field of diversity and reconciliation and have experience in dealing with issues around xenophobia.

    Drawing on diverse staff and experience we are capable of delivering high quality, high impact training that is specifically designed to get to the heart of the xenophobia problem.

    We look forward to hearing from all interested parties as we continue to contribute to a truly inclusive and wholly productive South Africa.

  2. #2
    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Well my view is actually before Xenophobia and the 1994 “developments”. Back in 1970’s Eskom did their own training and delivered some of the best “skilled” workers we have ever seen. Yes no matter if you had a st6 or and st8 if you wanted your trade Eskom could help you get it and they did a damn good job at doing so.

    There progressive training systems was really commendable and worked in a big way. Then in 1989 is stopped. Eskom no-longer gave proper training and started to outsource development thus your “N” system became the dominant factor. Today Eskom do no skills development what-so-ever and it is showing in our steady skills degradation. But Eskom was not the only one... The government also failed because their skills development programs just could not deliver the quality needed by our industries.

    This problem aside the communalization aspect of skills development took over and it became a business... Education programs became expensive and from 2000 it a good education became impossibility for the majority of South Africans.

    The only benefit to this flawed system is cheap labour and companies got away with paying as little as possible while outscoring “priority jobs” to Germany to name but one. Our own engineers started to leave South Africa because they could not get jobs as well as other more political aspects of the “enforced system” 2004 became the year of immigration. In total South Africa lost most of its knowledge base and the school systems started to fail.

    This continued till the recession and even now people are still considering leaving South Africa due to lack of security and other enforced laws that made jobs nearly impossible to obtain.

    Now 2009 a lot of short term jobs were made available but there are no permanent job creation systems in place and the “enforced labour specifications” still continues even after its 10 year life span?

    The age of the “fat cats” are really upon South Africa, the question is can we sustain them if everything else is failing?

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  4. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Judging by reports, the first institution that should be having zenophobia skills training is the police force. Next would be home affairs...

  5. Thanks given for this post:

    BBBEE_CompSpec (23-Nov-09)

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