Parliament, Friday, 5 July 2019 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Advocate Bongani Bongo, has welcomed the arrest and possible deportation of 37 illegal immigrants in Pretoria. In the coming term, the committee has highlighted the issue of illegal immigration as an area of focus and will work with the department to ensure that measures to halt illegal immigration into the country are implemented.
Migration is a reality that all countries must accept and leverage for development and economic growth. Nonetheless, migration must happen within the framework of international and national law. It is on this basis that the committee welcomes the arrest and possible deportation of these illegal immigrants.
“Every person within the boundaries of South Africa must be documented to ensure that proper records are kept. Documentation will also enable government and non-governmental agencies at all levels to plan effectively, as then they will know how to allocate the resources they have,” Adv Bongo said.
While the committee is cognisant that the 37 illegal immigrants represent a fraction of the whole, it is hopeful that the possible deportation will act as a deterrent against illegal immigration. “We are also aware of the inefficiencies within the Department of Home Affairs, which must be urgently resolved to ensure that migrants are not disadvantaged when applying for documentation,” Adv Bongo emphasised. What must remain clear is that illegal immigration into the country must be discouraged at all times.
The department must also put in place clear plans to strengthen the inspectorate unit within the department. The portfolio committee of the fifth Parliament highlighted this as a critical impediment. Above all, the department together with sister departments within the security cluster must implement anticorruption strategies to deal with allegations of bribery within the system.
The committee will for its part monitor the implementation of these plans aimed at ensuring the documentation of the migrant community.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, ADV BONGANI BONGO
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