African countries need to acknowledge the reasons why their citizens are migrating and deal with it instead of leaving it up to South Africa to deal with them.
Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum Vusumuzi Sibanda said the SA government was having to waste money on deportations and that African countries should examine what drives their citizens away.
“We need to look at the problem causing people to run away from their home countries to South Africa. We need governments to acknowledge that there is a problem in their country … and find ways of dealing with it”.
The department of international relations and cooporation, the police and home affairs met on Friday to find ways to put an end to the random xenophobic attacks in the country over the past 11 years.
Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele said South Africa was spending “significant amounts of money” annually on deporting illegal immigrants back to their home countries.
Some were also being trafficked into the country.
“People are trafficked into SA. We have a problem of people coming in illegally.”
The country has been under the microscope in recent weeks following xenophobic attacks and controversial statements by political leaders against foreign nationals.
There has been violence towards Malawians and other foreigners in KwaZulu-Natal.
Outrage flared at the weekend when a video emerged showing a foreign national attacking police in Sunnyside, Pretoria, during a search operation on Friday.
According to police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, police confronted a man suspected of dealing in drugs. He ran away but then turned around and attacked a police officer. The police officer was hit on the head with stones and was being treated at a local hospital.
The suspect, 34, was shot in the leg and was under police guard.
“These are people who make it difficult for social cohesion and integration to take place because they allow these prejudices to continue. A good excuse is given for migrants to be hated,” Sibanda said.
The department of basic education was also forced to educate children of undocumented foreigners.
But the children did not have the appropriate identity documents, so they could not get a range of services, spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said.
“In 2017, for example, we had 5,000 undocumented pupils writing matric.”