Since the outbreak of xenophobic violence in 2008, PASSOP has held, and continues to regularly hold, reintegration events in township communities across the Western Cape, including Masiphumelele, Stofland, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha. The events come in many different forms, including drama role-play workshops, music and dance performances, poetry-reading showcases and other cultural events, youth leadership workshops, street football tournaments, CV-building and other training workshops, or educational campaigns and petitions. All of these carry the underlying theme of unity against xenophobia. These diverse events are an essential tool in building tolerance, understanding and trust amongst South Africans and foreigners in townships, as well as educating and empowering community members, including youth and women.
In November 2010, we organised and ran a community integration event in Gugulethu, in partnership with FAWU and the Gugs Art Hub. The event was held the night before the launch of the first phase of construction of the Ray Alexander Simons Memory Centre. It was attended by over 500 people and showcased both South African and Zimbabwean musicians, poets, dancers and drama performances.
On the same stage the following day, during the formal day launch (of the Ray Alexander Simons Memory Centre), senior members of government and civil society complimented the event and echoed messages against xenophobia including South Africa’s Deputy President Mr Kgalema Motlanthe.