May 28, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

South Africans are not xenophobic, Ramaphosa says at launch of vaccine factory

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans are not xenophobic.

As evidence, he pointed to the number of academics and students from other African countries studying and working at South African universities.

< p>He spoke at the opening of the NantSA facility in Brackenfell, Cape Town on Wednesday. The vaccine manufacturing facility was founded by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Ramaphosa was asked how SA are marketing the facility to the rest of the continent given that South Africans are perceived in many quarters as xenophobic will.

The President said the notion was wrong and said SA has “a pan-Africanist approach”.

“We value, recognize and welcome the role that scientists, academics and many of them play our universities…from different African countries,” said Ramaphosa.

“Moreover, we have become a magnet, a hub for students from other African countries who come here to do to study and they get scholarships and they get support and help. This notion that we are xenophobic is disproved because we are not.

“South Africans are not xenophobic. South Africans hug and we’ve always been that way. Of course, like any other country, there will be such actions at certain moments.”

He said that South Africans can sometimes look inward.

“Sometimes we get too focused on that what is happening in our own country. We need to look at the continent as a whole, in a way that engages with people from different countries of our continent and embraces people from other countries.

“I am particularly proud that we are pan-African. In fact, in our advocacy for vaccine self-sufficiency, we have advocated that other countries on our continent should be able to produce vaccines and also develop the necessary skills… So South Africans are not xenophobic. South Africans welcome people from other countries and we will continue to do so.”