Government emphasised its commitment to protecting the rights of foreign nationals living in South Africa.
This is amid media reports of foreign nationals allegedly staging a sit-in at the UN High Commission for Refugees in Cape Town. The Western Cape Refugee and Migrant Forum distanced itself from the action.
Acting GCIS director General Phumla Williams said: “Government remains committed to building a society based on the democratic values of social justice, human dignity, equality, non-racialism, non-sexism and the advancement of human rights.
“South Africa has a high number of foreign nationals integrated into communities across the country and government calls on all South Africans and foreign nationals to live in harmony as we work together to create a better South Africa and contribute to a better and safer Africa in a better world”.
The South African government reiterates the country welcomes all people who are legally here and contributing to economic development. South Africa uses dialogue to solve differences and problems.
“As a peace loving and law abiding nation, we use this noble approach to deal with our problems,” said Williams.
South Africa is a signatory to international instruments which form part of Public International Law and these are incorporated into domestic law by the Refugee Act.
These conventions, provide the fundamental concepts for refugee protection, and are given effect through the Refugee Act. South Africa has legal instruments for refugees to exercise rights, secure protection and integrate into South African communities.
“South Africa is a constitutional democracy governed by laws. We expect everyone working and living in the country to be doing so legally and obey South Africa’s laws in their totality,” said Williams.
South Africans and those within its border are expected to adhere to the law and rules of the country.
“As a country we remain resolute to peaceful dialogue as the first option of resolving any dispute,” she said.