Cape Town – Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has expressed concern over the presence of undocumented foreign nationals operating spaza shops in villages, identifying it as a challenge for the country.
According to SABC, during his visit to Oakley, Bushbuckridge, Motsoaledi emphasised the need for all spaza shop owners in villages to be known by local chiefs.
He urged mayors to conduct audits of all spaza shops, insisting that unregistered shops should be identified, and owners without proper documents would face deportation.
“All the mayors must take an audit of all the spaza shops. You cannot have a spaza shop that is unregistered. They must produce documents and register. People who have no documents, who are illegal, we’ll have to deport them. There is nothing we can do. Those who have documents, we will register and register them for tax,” the report quoted the minister as saying.
Over the weekend, Motsoaledi highlighted the challenge of not being able to determine the number of undocumented migrants in the country.
He said this as he briefed the media on the White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugee Protection.
Motsoaledi spoke about the lack of a mechanism to track illegal migrants in the country and suggested that the establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) could help address this issue.
South Africa is overhauling its immigration and citizenship legislation. The white paper draft policy proposes the integration of border management and immigration Acts. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi held a media briefing on the draft policy earlier. #DStv403 pic.twitter.com/gezIMmgSBI
— eNCA (@eNCA) November 12, 2023
“South Africa today is a great place to live in, even though some South Africans don’t believe this. No one can account for all the undocumented migrants. The Department of Home Affairs has no idea as to how many illegal migrants are in South Africa here,” he said.
He clarified that the goal was not to prevent people from entering the country but to ensure they did so legally.
“All we are doing is, people must come into the country legally. Our problem here is illegality. The Border Management Authority Act must be reviewed so that we align it with Immigration, Citizenship Act as a new policy framework, because they were all passed differently at different times, without referral to each other.”
Picture: Twitter/ @HomeAffairsSA
Compiled by Betha Madhomu