On 24 October 2017, SERI's director of research and advocacy, Alana Potter, challenged a number of myths about foreign migrants' access to housing in South Africa as part of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)'s indaba on access to housing for foreign migrants living in Gauteng. The idaba comes in the wake of comments made by the Mayor of the CIty of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, about his plans to evict and deport undocumented foreign migrants as part of his urban regeneration strategy. Panellists at the indaba included government officials, academics, and civil society representatives from a wide array of organisations, including SERI, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and African Diaspora Forum.
Potter's presentation focused on addressing some of the prevailing myths about foreign migrants and their access to housing. During her presentation, Potter stated:
"The [City of Johannesburg's] logic - or illogic - is that by evicting or deporting poor and undocumented people the city will become attractive to private investment for affordable housing ... Evicting, arresting and deporting foreign nationals is making no inroads towards addressing the structural and systemic issues that drive the inner-city accommodation crisis."
For more on Potter's presentation at the indaba, see the following media coverage: