ActionSA Concerned after Extension of Zimbabwean Permit

ActionSA has learned with great disappointment and concern, that Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Home Affairs, extended the Zimbabwean exemptions granted to Zimbabwean nationals for a further 6 months to 30 June 2023.

South Africa has been under the grip of crime, economic squeeze, and a seemingly unending plethora of social ills allegedly due to the influx of migrants and mostly by undocumented and illegal immigrants.

It is not long ago that violence flared in Kagiso west of Johannesburg when residents took the law into their own hands following the rape of local women by illegal Zama-Zamas known to be illegal Basotho hiding in the myriad of tunnels in the old west rand mines. The police were left out of sorts as they are under-capacitated to deal with the problem and relied on the locals to hand over the apprehended illegal foreigners.

ActionSA immigration policy is very clear that South Africa belongs to South Africans and that anyone in the world who desire to visit may do so, provided that they follow the correct channels and observe our immigration laws. The problem with this, ActionSA has observed is the incompetence of Dr Motsoaledi’s Home Affairs Department in dealing with legal immigration, let alone the illegal ones.

According to Home Affairs, approximately 178 000 Zimbabweans were due to be deported by December 2022 due to expired permits or those who had not applied for renewal. These are the ones who are known and can be accounted for by the state.

The extension of the Zimbabwean Special Permit to June 2023 is therefore a mockery of our constitutional democracy and further chips away at the autonomy of our state and its function, especially on managing our borders.

This stance by the Department of Home Affairs is a clear indication to South Africans that illegal immigration is not a priority in the eyes of Dr Motsoaledi and further poses a risk of a continued squeeze on our health care and social services and criminality in a system already bursting at the seams.

ActionSA will continue to monitor the extent of this extension and its long-lasting negative effects on our society. 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 to South Africa.

Home Affairs should send a clear message to anyone entering our borders that South Africa is a sovereign country with its own laws which must be obeyed and adhered to, failure of which carries an appropriate sanction.