‘SA belongs to South Africans’: Mashaba disappointed by home affairs extending Zimbabwean permits

07 September 2022 - 11:00
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ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says the extension of the Zimbabwean exemption permits indicates illegal immigration is not a priority for the home affairs ministry. File photo.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says the extension of the Zimbabwean exemption permits indicates illegal immigration is not a priority for the home affairs ministry. File photo.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says he is disappointed and concerned after home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi extended the validity of the Zimbabwean exemption permits (ZEP) for another six months to June 30 2023.

Mashaba said the extension of ZEPs is a "mockery" of SA’s constitutional democracy. 

“This indicates illegal immigration is not a priority for the home affairs ministry and poses a risk of a continued squeeze on our healthcare and social services,” he said. 

Mashaba said the extension further chips away at the autonomy of the state and its function, especially in managing the country’s borders.

He said the immigration act is clear that “SA belongs to South Africans”, and anyone who wishes to visit the country may do so provided they follow the correct channels and observe the country’s immigration laws.

“Our immigration act is very clear on how to deal with this type of influx of immigration,  and especially on illegal immigration. We are of the view that no political will exists to deal decisively with this endemic problem in SA.

“Home affairs should send a clear message to anyone entering our borders that SA is a sovereign country with its own laws which must be obeyed and adhered to, failure of which carries an appropriate sanction,” said Mashaba. 

The Federated Hospitality Association of SA (Fedhasa) welcomed the six-month extension. 

Speaking on Newzroom Afrika, association chairperson Rosemary Anderson said they hope the additional time will allow everyone to come to a “meetable agreement”.

“At Fedhasa we definitely feel everyone should only employ people who are legally here. We believe in following that. Every country in the world has borders and immigration laws, and we need to do the same thing,” said Anderson. 

“We definitely push that our members should only employ people who are legally allowed to work in SA.”

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