Durban Action Against Xenophobia is a group that was created, originally by staff and students at UKZN, to respond to the immediate refugee crisis in Durban. Following the xenophobic attacks in Gauteng in early May, reports started coming in of similar attacks in KZN and particularly in the Durban area. Within days, displaced foreign nationals began to flow into police stations and churches around the city seeking refuge. DAAX kicked off their campaign with a trolley drive in local supermarkets to help provide the Red Cross with supplies to feed these refugees. Liaising directly with the Red Cross command centre at Cato Manor, as well as with other action groups, NGOs and faith-based organisations around Durban, DAAX was able to collect a large number of donations and deliver them to Red Cross, as well as bringing in volunteers to sort the donations and deliver them to safe sites around the City. Members of DAAX have also been active in anti-xenophobia meetings, gatherings and discussions. Our current focus is to ensure that local and provincial government implement coherent medium and long-term plans to protect and provide shelter for the refugees, and to encourage their eventual reintegration into local communities wherever possible. We are also working with several groups seeking to provide education and open dialogue around the issue of xenophobia in South Africa.
Members of Durban Action are all volunteers. The group was originally started on Facebook and has grown to nearly 1,000 members. As a result, we now have many members who do not have access to the Facebook group and the information posted there, and so we have started this blog to cater for a wider membership as well as to provide information to the general public.
Durban Action can be contacted on durbancrisis (at) gmail . com