Xenowatch is a platform we developed aimed at tracking all forms of xenophobic threats and attacks on people and property as well government responses to xenophobic incidents in South Africa.

Xenowatch is an open source system for information collection, visualisation and interactive mapping that allows crowd sourcing of xenophobia-related incidents using numerous reporting methods including free SMS, email, and our website.

Through Xenowatch we will:

  • Notify police, international organisations, and civil society of threats, violence, and displacement;
  • Inform conflict prevention and resolution initiatives;
  • Identify the characteristics of communities as risk and triggers of violence;
  • Inform national and local policy responses;
  • Encourage greater accountability among police and other government officials.

What Is Xenophobia?

For our purposes, xenophobia is any form of discrimination or violence against people due to their ethnic, linguistic, geographic or national background. This includes overt discrimination, threats of violence, and physical violence against people and/or their property. This behavior may be aimed at immigrants or refugees, but it may also target South Africans from other areas of the country, ethnic groups, religions or language groups. Even if such incidents intersect with other forms of crime (such as assaults, looting or violent protests), we would like to hear about them.

Xenowatch Launch in 2016
Tefo Mohapi, Founder & CEO of iAfrikan, at the Xenowatch launch in 2016

Incident Reporting & Handling

Each incident report will be lodged in a confidential database. In low priority cases, where there are no active threats or violence, a project administrator will verify the report within 48 hours. In urgent cases, incidents will be immediately verified and anonymous incident descriptions will be immediately relayed to UNHCR, SAPS and other partners.

However, if reporting an emergency please dial 10111 as we cannot guarantee your message will reach the police in your area.

All verified incident and government response data will be uploaded to the website for immediate public use. The website provides maps and interactive tools for users to create their own graphs and diagrams.

VISIT XENOWATCH