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By Jabulile Mbatha

Journalist


ActionSA calls out Home Affairs minister’s first move

ActionSA criticises the minister's focus on non-essential matters, urging action on the crisis of illegal immigration instead.


ActionSA has called out the minister of home affairs’ first move as not important, saying he should move his focus to the crisis of illegal immigration.

This comes after Leon Schreiber extended the temporary concession for foreign nationals who are awaiting the outcome of visa waiver and appeal applications to 31 December, 2024.

ActionSA parliamentary caucus chief whip Lerato Ngobeni said Schreiber must accept and acknowledge that there was a crisis.

ALSO READ: Home Affairs visa extensions: Which applicants get temporary concession?

“It is an evident fact that, upon any objective assessment, our borders are being overrun, our ports of entry are security voids, immigration management systems are incapacitated, legal entry mechanisms are being exploited and criminal activity perpetrated by foreign nationals and transnational criminal syndicates is a well-documented daily occurrence.”

Solution is imperative

Head of advocacy at Scalabrini, a NGO advocating for the rights of refugees and migrants, James Chapman, said it was imperative that those living in SA lawfully despite the failing system are able to be regularised.

“While unlawful and irregular migration is an issue, it’s crucial that you have correct statistics and data before addressing it.

“At the moment, you have a system that’s returning people, costing millions of rands, in some instances returning people to a hostile, dangerous, prosecutory environment in which they face torture or even death.

“There needs to be a proper improvement to systems in place so one can properly manage migration.”

ALSO READ: ‘System offline at Home Affairs should be a swear word’ says Leon Schreiber

The home affairs department said: “This extension safeguards applicants – including those who are contributing to South Africa through their scarce skills – from suffering adverse consequences or being erroneously declared undesirable while they await the outcome of applications submitted to the department.”

Ngobeni said ActionSA appreciated that immigrants can contribute scarce skills to the growth of SA’s economy.

“But to address this correctly, we must first review the critical skills list to align it with our economic needs and make it easier for foreign nationals who can actively contribute to job creation and economic growth,” she said.

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