As the coronavirus outbreak slammed the South African economy and pushed unemployment to a 17-year high, it has at the same time awakened xenophobia. The Daily Maverick reports that while it’s unclear how many migrants are in South Africa, estimates of the number of Zimbabweans alone exceed 2 million and with South Africa’s economy set to contract by the most in nine decades this year, unemployment at 31%, and local elections scheduled for 2021, some politicians have found blaming foreigners for everything from joblessness to poor public services is a vote winner. This, GG Alcock, a consultant on township marketing and an author of books on the informal economy, warns, threatens to upend an industry of convenience stores numbering over 100,000 nationwide with annual revenue of 100 billion rand.
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