Foreigners Must Be Given Amnesty & Not Blamed For SA’s Unemployment: DA Speaks On Operation Restore
[Photo: Everson Luhanga/Twitter]
South Africa’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has called for undocumented foreigners in the country to be given amnesty. The DA also said that the foreign nationals are being unfairly targeted and blamed for SA’s unemployment rates.
The DA’s position comes at a time when tensions are rising between South Africans and foreign nationals. There has been an increase in nationalist sentiments in the Southern African country, with locals accusing foreigners of causing high unemployment and crime rates.
Gwen Ngwenya, the head of policy for the DA, called on the South African government to resolve the issue by giving foreigners an amnesty.
This comes after the authorities launched a crackdown on foreigners in parts of Gauteng codenamed Operation Restore.
Operation Restore was conducted in Diepkloof, Soweto, Hillbrow and Alexandra, and many of the arrested have been identified as Chinese, Pakistani and Zimbabwean nationals.
Ngwenya said that South Africans must stop scapegoating foreigners for their social ills. She also called on foreign nationals to be given an amnesty to allow them to regularise their stay or return home unmolested.
Explaining the DA’s policy on immigration, Ngwenya said,
“A critical proposal is to provide an amnesty period for all undocumented migrants. Giving them an opportunity to either return to their home and attempt to re-enter legally, without prejudice, or to apply for the relevant visa from within SA.
“Why should foreign nationals not be given amnesty when home affairs does not have their act together? Just like driver’s licences, a punitive approach risks lumping the innocent along with those who had no intention of following the rules,” as per Sunday Times.
Outlining some of the policy proposals from the DA, Ngwenya said,
implementation of an advanced migration registry system to properly document all migrants when entering or leaving the country;
move to a points-based skilled migration system as opposed to a skills-demand system, as the points-based system has proven to be more attractive to aspiring skilled migrants in other parts of the world;
explore the economic cost vs benefit of an e-verification system that would enable employers to check the work eligibility status of potential employees;
blacklist officials who have been found guilty of involvement in migration corruption and fraud from working for any state agency or government department and lay criminal charges, and;
introduce a trader’s permit/visa for all other African countries.
The DA’s sentiments are similar to ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba’s. Earlier this week, Mashaba called on South Africans not to blame foreigners, saying the ANC government was to blame.
“Home affairs has failed for decades to issue documentation to people who qualify. Our borders are not protected, and points of entry have created a free-for-all, where goods and people pass into SA without regulation. Who is to blame? The ANC, not foreign nationals.”
“Illegal immigration cannot be resolved by taking the law into our own hands, but only through the removal of the ANC government.