333 874 foreigners have overstayed their welcome in SA - police

2015-04-28 16:00

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Zimbabwean living in SA writes about struggles of foreign nationals

2015-04-21 12:09

We speak to Godfrey Madanhire whose book The Passport outlines the challenges faced by foreign nationals in South Africa.WATCH

Cape Town - Since 2010, a total of 333 874 foreigners have overstayed their welcome in South Africa, Netwerk24 reported on Tuesday.

In contrast, 889 943 foreigners were working legally in the country over that period. Since attacks on foreigners began earlier this month, 2 767 foreigners were voluntarily repatriated to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

This emerged on Tuesday during a briefing of Parliament’s home affairs and police portfolio committees by the home affairs department.

Attacks on foreigners erupted earlier this month in KwaZulu-Natal and spread to Gauteng. Foreign-owned shops were looted and petrol-bombed. At least seven people have been killed and scores injured and displaced.

The police’s head of special operations, Major General Charl Annandale, told MPs that attacks on foreigners had decreased over the last 10 days.

He said causes of the violence included competition for access to help, work and business opportunities, failure to regulate businesses at a local level, the involvement of foreign communities in drug dealing and trade in stolen goods, and the spreading of false information on social media.  

The police’s National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure and similar structures at provincial level had been meeting twice daily as part of government’s plan to stop the attacks. The plan’s aims included ensuring safety and security and international co-operation, and providing humanitarian aid.

Authorities were being deployed to hot spots daily, special courts had been established, shelters set up, and dedicated investigators put to work. All intelligence agencies had prioritised gathering information on attacks against foreigners.

Opposition parties wanted information on the costs of the plan and criticised home affairs for not investing enough in its inspectorate, which enforces immigration laws.

Read more on:    cape town  |  xenophobia  |  parliament 2015

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