Mixed messages on immigrants

2012-12-28 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC was yesterday accused of issuing xenophobic messages with its policy recommendations on immigrants.

At the party’s national conference in Mangaung last week, the committee for peace and stability asked for a revision of the party’s immigration policy.

The committee, among others, recommended a xenophobic awareness campaign, but in the same breath said immigrants who did not have the necessary documents posed an economic and security risk for the country.

ANC MP Mnyamezeli Booi, who serves on the committee, said yesterday it was a constant refrain in the committee that aliens posed a threat. He said another call was for a balance to be found between the oversupply of semi-skilled labourers who streamed into SA and their impact on local job creation.

“Our recommendations must still be ratified by the new national executive committee,” he said.

Loren Landau, a researcher on forced migration at the University of Witwatersrand, said the recommendations resembled political symbolism rather than a policy that would have any impact.

“It is as if the policy is being developed based on second-hand accounts and myths. No empirical research shows that expats are taking local jobs from South Africans. The focus should rather be on the jobs that expats are creating,” Landau said.

Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary-general, said in his organisational report that there was an urgent need for the party to address the proper management of immigrants arriving in South Africa.

This was in light of:

• The relatively high number of crimes involving immigrants;

• The number of immigrants who have jobs, compared to the high numbers of jobless South Africans; and

• The impact on local small businesses who have to compete with immigrants.

Braam Hanekom, director of the refugee organisation Passop, said is was shocking that one-sided statistics were influencing the ANC’s discussions on the immigrant issue.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.