The City of Joburg has accepted the Department of Home Affairs’s proposal to establish a joint committee between the Department and the City to develop a plan to address illegal immigration.
The City says it will now engage with the department to agree on terms of reference for the joint committee and time frames for completion of the committee’s work.
The announcement comes after the city wrote to the department demanding that it develop a plan to address the rising illegal immigration faced by the city.
In October, City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba asked the city’s legal team to look at all legal options available including a threat to compel the department through court to address illegal migration in the city.
“I am happy to see that Minister Dlodlo is taking these immigration challenges seriously, unlike her two predecessors.
“For over a year, I have on numerous occasions sought an audience with the Department of Home Affairs, in good faith – sadly those attempts were in vain.”Said the city of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba in a statement,” Mashaba said.
Mashaba acknowledges that many people from outside South Africa come to the country looking for a better life and that Joburg bares the majority of them, however, he said undocumented immigrants are forced to live on the fringes of society with limited protection.
“From the City’s perspective, illegal immigration compounds serious challenges for the provision of temporary emergency accommodation for residents and other basic services.”
He said it is crucial that a comprehensive plan is developed which will address pressing concerns.
Mashaba added that he hoped the joint committee does not degenerate into another intergovernmental talk shop with few results.
“The newfound commitment shown by the Department will bear an effective and lasting solution which will protect the best interests of citizens and law-abiding foreign nationals in Joburg.”