Seychelles warns citizens in South Africa to be vigilant amidst anti-foreigner attacks
Maison Queau de Quincy which houses the Department of Foreign Affairs. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles’ Department of Foreign Affairs is advising all Seychellois citizens residing in South Africa and those planning to travel there to avoid areas of unrest and to be alert at all times amid an increase in anti-foreigner sentiment.
In a travel advisory update on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs called on all Seychellois travelling to South Africa to remain vigilant and take extra precautions irrespective of their whereabouts.
“We further advise that the following areas are to be avoided at all times: In Pretoria its Central Business District and Marabastad and in Johannesburg in the Central Business District as well as the Hillbrow, Turfontein, Jeppestown, Jeppestreet, Malvern and Tembisa areas. All other provinces are generally quiet although usual precaution when travelling to South Africa remains necessary,” said the Department.
The travel advisory comes after two foreign nationals were killed on Sunday in a spate of violence in Johannesburg.
According to the BBC news service, “Mobs began looting foreign-owned shops and torching foreigners' lorries on Monday (last week). The attacks started after South African lorry drivers staged a nationwide strike to protest against the employment of foreign drivers.”
The BBC added that South Africa “has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa because it has one of the continent's biggest and most developed economies. But there is also high unemployment in South Africa and some people feel foreigners are taking their jobs.”
The Department has received assurances from the Seychelles High Commission in Pretoria that the universities where Seychellois are currently studying remain largely quiet and far from the troubled areas.
The High Commission is in contact with most of the Seychellois students there and is keeping them regularly updated on any developments. It is also in regular contact with its other government offices in South Africa, principally the Seychelles Tourism Board offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and its consular office in Durban.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and the High Commission in Pretoria will continue to monitor the situation, and keep the public informed accordingly.