This year has seen an escalation of coordinated anti-migrant pushes against foreign nationals who are being hounded out of several communities in Gauteng and other parts of the country.
Operation Dudula, or as others call themselves the Dudula movement, has increasingly strengthened its hand, raiding shops and vendor stalls owned by foreigners.
Their actions are illegal and must be condemned.
These groups would have us believe that their wrath is only aimed at undocumented foreign nationals.
The reality, however, is a different one because mobs by their very nature operate on a fluid set of rules, which, above all sense, seek to exert power indiscriminately.
Yesterday saw yet another episode of clashes between foreigners and locals in Alex.
As to be expected, violence or the ever present threat of it, is a constant and worrying feature of this ongoing conflict.
Yet, despite the obvious threat to social stability in certain communities, the government appears to be largely reactive and narrow in its approach to the problems highlighted by our immigration crisis.
Considering the prevalence of this kind of vigilantism by groups such as Dudula, it is inconceivable that there appears to be no policing strategy to clamp down on those who have opted to take the law into their own hands, periodically creating anarchy in communities.
While we believe that policing alone will not be a silver bullet to deal with this problem, we are equally mindful that there can be no workable solutions stemming from an environment where violence and lawlessness continues unabated.
Police cannot be passive spectators to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding before us.
Second, we must deal with the deep rooted corruption in our immigration system, which has made our country even more vulnerable to those from the rest of the world who come through our borders with criminal intent rather than to seek refuge.
Importantly, the government can no longer turn a blind eye to the fault lines that exacerbate the kind of push back we are seeing from some locals against foreign nationals.
Our unemployment problem, largely caused by systemic exclusion of young black people from economic opportunities, has become the single biggest threat to our national security and social cohesion.
Our country needs tangible and widespread interventions to open up opportunities for people to gain meaningful employment.