In September 2018, the US Department of State was able to rapidly released funding to ALPS as an emergency response to the ongoing situation in Zwelihle. ALPS, in parallel with the research phase of the People to People Dialogues project, conducted a conflict analysis and baseline assessment of the tensions in Zwelihle. ALPS also initiated the early stages of identifying vulnerable individuals, households, and businesses that would be eligible for material aid.
In 2019, ALPS will oversee the determination and ranking of eligible individuals and households for assistance and will disperse aid to those who meet the pre-determined criteria.
Material aid is not enough to address the underlying tensions that erupted in 2018. Integration and understanding is needed within the community. The People to People Dialogues will remain an essential part of the ongoing process to build social cohesion and will run concurrently to the emergency humanitarian assistance project. This marks the first time that both material aid and social cohesion dialogues will be co-implemented following a xenophobic attack in South Africa.
Emergency Assistance to Zwelihle, Hermanus
In September 2018, the US Department of State (US DOS) provided ALPS with funding for emergency humanitarian assistance in Zwelihle, Hermanus after protests resulted in largescale looting and displacement of foreign nationals. Zwelihle had already been selected by ALPS as a priority site for the USAID-funded People to People Dialogues project, which made ALPS an ideal candidate to provide support and assistance to the migrant and refugee community in Zwelihle. The combined funding from USAID and US DOS will strengthen ALPS’ intervention in Zwelihle, allowing for a two-pronged approach of social cohesion programming and humanitarian assistance.
Hermanus, Western Cape is one of the most segregated places in South Africa. Internal and regional migration to Hermanus has doubled in the last 10 years, rapidly altering the town’s demographics and increasing competition for land.
In March 2018, protests erupted in response to a property development dispute. Despite efforts from the Western Cape South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to address the conflict, unrest in Zwelihle continued into July 2018 and flared again in December 2018, resulting in serious consequences for residents, especially for non-nationals. Somali- and Ethiopian and some South African-owned shops were looted during the protests and migrant families and shop-owners were temporarily displaced, fearing for their safety.