Home Affairs plans to change migration laws

Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, was speaking in Johannesburg at a public hearing on the Green Paper on International Migration. (SABC)

The Department of Home Affairs is proposing to change migration laws to ensure that migrants and refugees coming into South Africa will benefit the country.

Minister Malusi Gigaba says international migration must be managed in a way that promotes human rights and advances the National Development Plan, while ensuring the safety of all persons residing in South Africa.

He made these comments at a public hearing in Johannesburg on the Green Paper on International Migration.

Gigaba says the new proposals look at an inter-governmental approach.

“The Green Paper contends that it is neither desirable nor possible to stop international migration. International migration is a natural, largely positive phenomenon, which if well managed, can, does and will make a crucial contribution to growing our economy and transforming Africa as envisioned in Agenda 2063.”

Meanwhile, various NGOs have welcomed the Green Paper on International Immigration proposed by the Home Affairs Department.

However, there were a few reservations raised by entities which work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Diana Beamish, who works for Mercy House, says they encounter many problems with ground staff who aren’t clued up with advancements in law and process.

“We have big ideas, but the delivery doesn’t happen. And so, the proposal could work if the system is properly implemented. A Syrian family in Cape Town was rejected because they were told there is no war in Syria. So, the refugee status determination officer’s (RSDO) aren’t informed on a regular or weekly basis.”

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