Letter: DA’s reckless anti-immigrant message a disgrace - Businesslive

19 October 2018 - It is utterly disgraceful that a party of liberal origins would do such a thing.

We welcome and wish to reinforce the warning in your editorial, “DA is playing with fire on immigration” (October 18). For all the bluster about wanting to avoid stigmatising immigrants, it is quite apparent that the leadership of the DA understands that in many quarters its anti-immigrant message will resonate and align the party with racial nationalist and xenophobic sentiment and win it votes.
It is utterly disgraceful that a party of liberal origins would do such a thing. As you warn, the risks are immense and the DA may help to set in motion a chain of events, or ignite a fire as you put it, that it cannot control.

You also have to ask; if it is immigrants today, who will be next? If it is politically expedient to pillory one minority group in pursuit of votes then what is to stop the party later turning on others?

Research we have published on immigrants, legal but mainly not, suggests that they are a net benefit to SA. Many immigrant communities are inspirational examples of overcoming social, economic and political adversity to build a better life. Their example and presence in our country should be celebrated as case studies South Africans can learn from.

Frans Cronje
CEO, Institute of Race Relations


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