Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says the issue of illegal foreign nationals in the country needs immediate collective intervention.
Motsoaledi says the documentation of illegal immigrants in the country will not be easy because they are in the country illegally.
He was speaking at the handing over of Birth Certificates to the newly born babies at St Barnabas Hospital in Libode in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.
South Africans are upset with the high number of undocumented foreign nationals in the country. They also question the ability of the Department of Home Affairs to deal with the influx of foreigners. Minister Motsoaledi says the department faces an uphill battle.
“Those who are hiding are not coming and Home Affairs is blamed for not documenting them. How can you document a person who does not want to be known? The Zama Zamas there who are now a national subject there in Krugersdorp, do you think anyone would come and be documented? Because they know very well that they are here illegally, so it’s a problem that we are faced with,” Motsoaledi explains.
Motsoaledi says the work starts at the country’s entry points.
“The only thing we can do is to get immigration officials to go out and look for them and many of them, we end up deporting them. The second issue is to make sure that the border gates are not porous that is why we put in border management guards there. The border makes foreign nationals not come to South Africa, I want to make that one clear, guards are going to say if you want to come to South Africa, use a border gate and they will be documented,” Motsoaledi adds.
The department is also pushing ahead with the issuing of birth certificates at hospitals. Minister Motseoledi was issuing certificates at St Barnabas Hospital in Libode.
“Home Affairs took a decision that we can no longer issue unabridged Birth certificates, we have moved away from that one, and we will issue a full certificate. What do we mean all the certificates must have all the details,” Motsoaledi reiterates.
Inam Mkonti is 18 years old and believes as a young mother that her child’s birth certificate will open the right doors.
“This will help me because I will not spend more time in the Home Affairs queues for the Birth Certificate. It will help me to quickly access social grants,” says Mkonti.
The plan is to have a home affairs office at hospitals with a high birth rate to issue birth certificates.
Meanwhile, Gauteng police say they’ve managed to rescue 19 illegal foreign nationals after they found them surrounded by communities in Soul City in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg. But Gauteng deputy police commissioner could not confirm if they are illegal miners saying they have been taken to the police station where they are being processed.
One person was found dead near the scene where the foreign nationals had been cornered by the community.
Residents of Kagiso took to the streets on Thursday, clamping down on illegal mining operations and destroying structures where some of the illegal miners reside. Residents have accused the police of having failed them and they have taken matters into their hands.
Mthombeni says police will continue to be on the ground to monitor the situation.
“In terms of working on issues of illegal mining there is the department of minerals that we work closely with. And we also have to work with people who are doing the mining so that when we’re decommissioning the mines it has to be a process flow that has to be taken by specialists so that at the end of the day, we have to assist in dealing with this process of illegal mining,” says Mthombeni.
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