Avatar photo

By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Helen Suzman Foundation slams Motsoaledi’s migration White Paper ‘failures’ [VIDEO]

The Helen Suzman Foundation says Home Affairs' backlogs are also not addressed in detail in the White Paper.

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) is not pleased with Cabinet’s decision to adopt the final White Paper of the Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Protection: Towards a Complete Overhaul of the Migration System in South Africa (White Paper).

The White Paper was published for comments last November, with the deadline set for 31 January.

ALSO READ: Motsoaledi advises Zimbabwean Exemption Permit holders to ignore ‘false hope created by HSF’

Cabinet adopted the final White Paper on 10 April, and was published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday.

During a media briefing on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said the public was in great support the White Paper.

“Only a handful of public interest groups are opposed to selected policy positions,” he said.

It seeks to replace an “outdated” Citizenship Act, and also proposed changes to existing legislations, which, according to Motsoaledi clashed in practice.

“The White Paper must make radical proposals regarding citizenship.

ALSO READ: ‘Uninvited busybodies’: Mpofu slams Zondo commission, HSF for meddling in Zuma case

“Section 43 of the Citizenship Act is required to be reviewed together with other sections including those relating to Citizenship by naturalisation.

“Once the White Paper is signed into law, it will discourage economic immigrants from entering South Africa pretending to be asylum seekers.”

HSF: What about Home Affairs’ backlogs?

However, the HSF, which is objecting to the White Paper, says it fails in sound government policy-making.

It argued that the White Paper provides a confusing solution “without properly defining the challenges which migration poses to South Africa”.

ALSO READ: Helen Suzman Foundation launches application to protect ZEP holders

“Instead, the White Paper bemoans South Africa’s already strict legal regime for refugee protection and fails to recognise basic legal realities that prevent largescale tightening of our refugee laws,” said the HSF.

“Moreover, the White Paper’s calls for institutional reform, while perhaps laudable when considered on their own, distract from the DHA’s backlogs and incapacity – neither of which are addressed in any detail in the White Paper.”

ALSO READ: Motsoaledi outlines changes to ‘colonial era legislation’ on citizenship and immigration

The HSF called on parliament to not adopt the White Paper’s proposals into law.

Watch Motsoaledi’s briefing below: