Jitters over dual passport ban

07 September 2015 - 02:07 By Farren Collins

Recruitment company Homecoming Revolution says a ban on dual citizenship by South Africa would have disastrous consequences for the economy. Its CEO, Angel Jones, said the ban would force people with more than one passport to give up their South African citizenship because of fear that the country was regressing.She was responding to reports yesterday that the ANC was reviewing this country's dual citizenship policy and would table its proposals at its national general council meeting next month."South Africa has more than 800000 critical-skills vacancies and a dual citizenship ban would push this higher," said Jones."We would lose even more critical skills and we would be making it harder for globally experienced South Africans to return home."According to last month's survey by Homecoming Revolution, 53% of South Africans living abroad want to return home, and 21% are undecided. The company encourages skilled expatriates to return to South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.Immigration lawyer Chris Watters said the ban would be unconstitutional and difficult for the government to implement."The government cannot make someone stateless. You cannot have a situation in which people have no citizenship."South Africans who want dual citizenship need permission from the Department of Home Affairs, but Watters said people often did not declare their dual-nationality status.He said the possibility of families being split because of the ban would depend on how the legislation was worded."If you withdraw a person's citizenship, that person becomes an illegal foreigner and would have to leave the country, according to the Citizenship Act of 1995. They would have to reapply to enter the country with a new status and that would be at the discretion of an embassy official."One would hope that the legislation would not allow for families to be split."Chantelle du Plessis, a South African who also holds a US passport, said her second citizenship made it easier to travel and look for work abroad...

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