Stellenbosch Municipality

Dear Citizens of the Innovation Capital of South Africa,

As we currently celebrate two significant public holidays; the one Freedom Day on the 27th of April 2015 and Workers Day on the 1st of May 2015 we do so aware; overly aware of the xenophobic attacks that have raged through parts of our country.

I have taken note of these acts of violence where foreign nationals have been the target of people’s rage. There is no justification for this violence. I strongly condemn what has taken place. Whatever the reasons have been it is unacceptable and under no circumstance is it ever justified.

Xenophobia attacks have not spread to the winelands valley and I urge citizens to be vigilant in the defense of all people’s human rights and freedom under the South African Constitution.

If there is reason to anger against foreign nationals I urge the community to come together with their representative leadership to discuss the issues and through the correct channels choose the most appropriate route forward. We can’t as citizens take the law into our own hands and advocate lawlessness and chaos. Our region and it’s people can’t afford to be drawn into a downward spiral that only leads to anarchy. Let’s work in a coordinated and civil manner to address the challenges that may be experienced.

I urge you to speak to various role-players in your respective communities to discuss preventative measures so that actions such as those that have been taking place elsewhere cannot take place in Stellenbosch. We cannot condone any intolerant behaviour. If you feel threatened in any way, please report it to your local police station.

Our dream is to be the Innovation Capital of South Africa. A place where all people work together to ensure good governance and management; a green environment; a safe society; a destination attractive for investment and very important – dignified living for all our valley’s people. We would like all citizens of Stellenbosch to enjoy a dignified life, irrespective of their relative material wealth or background. For some it will mean a home; for others education; a small business; a beautiful environment; a safe route or access to basic services.

To be able to reach this dream we must understand that we are bounded to each other in our humanity – Ubuntu; I am because you are.

We can build this dream. All of us. Together. Let all of the Stellenbosch area unite and say #NoToXenophobia.

Conrad Sidego

Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch