FOREIGNERS, like Jews, are resented because they tend to outperform others. The entrepreneurial and productive superiority of migrants in general explains much or most of South Africa’s xenophobic hysteria.
Almost everywhere and always, foreigners are more productive and enterprising than locals for many reasons. People who migrate are inherently enterprising, otherwise they would stay at home. They tend to be optimistic and willing to work hard, hence their assumption that they will compete successfully in unfamiliar, even hostile, territory. Without citizenship, they are denied bountiful blessings conferred on locals by governments buying votes with other people’s money. They — or at least those targeted by xenophobia — typically arrive without capital, locally recognised skills or access to local sources of income, employment and finance.
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Leon Louw is the President of the Free Market Foundation.
Publish date: 22 April 2015
The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.