Migration law under review


Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says there is a need to transform the migration laws of South Africa. Speaking at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) consultative migration policy workshop at Rustenburg in North West province, Dlamini-Zuma said the country has been facing a problem of high numbers of migrants from African countries since the dawn of democracy.

This was because of South Africa’s strong economy and political stability on the continent, SABC News reports. Dlamini Zuma told members of the central executive committee of COSATU at the Orion Safari Lodge that South Africa is comparatively economically strong and politically stable, which makes it a leading destination for migrants from neighbouring countries as well as the rest of the African continent. “What I hope the workshop will come out with, is how do we regulate the movements of the people coming here for various reasons, and how do we limit those who come here for negative activities like crime.”

The SABC reported COSATU is one of the stakeholders that is playing a critical role in fostering sound decision making with regard to labour migration laws. “We have a duty to ensure that our borders are controlled well and a duty to change the mindset at Home Affairs because that is where the problem is, illegal people are bribing employees at Home Affairs, COSATU president S’dumo Dlamini told the state broadcaster.

Home Affairs said the meeting last Thursday took place against the background of the approval granted by Cabinet for the department to develop a new migration policy. The new policy must allow government to distinguish between economic migrants and asylum seekers, a confusion that “has created lock-jams in processing such applications” by the department.

Home Affairs described the meeting as part of a broader process of consultation … with a view to arriving at a consensus about the basic tenets of such a new migration policy. Once the process of consultation is completed, Dlamini Zuma will present the proposals to both the Cabinet and parliament for approval and implementation.