‘New immigration regulations are in the best interests of the country’

2014-07-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The new immigration regulations that have already been contested in court are to stay.

This despite requests by political parties to have the new regulations reviewed.

Director-general of Home Affairs Mkhuseli Apleni yesterday told Parliament it would take a while before South Africans understand the new regulations are in the best interests of the country.

He compared the current criticism by tourism operators on the unintended consequences of the regulations to the outcry against the ban on cigarette advertisements. “Today as a South African I am proud of that decision.” He said South Africans were also against the proposed ban on alcohol advertisements just because it is new, but they would accept with time.

Not everyone agrees with Apleni. The Western Cape High Court this week issued an interim order for two groups who are contesting the new immigration regulations in court.

One of the group is an American citizen who was declared an undesirable person and could not return to SA after visiting the U.S.

The interim order makes it possible for him to return, based on the fact that the complainants hold no security risk for SA, the judge said.

The tourism industry has also warned the red tape introduced by the new regulations could lose South Africa about R6,8 million in income from tourists.

Global Migration South Africa estimated the new visa regulations for foreign workers will impact on investments of R1 billion and put at risk 1 600 local jobs.

But Apleni said no South African would have a problem with SA’s demand that foreign companies have 60% local labour.

Citing the Dewani case, Apleni said he did not have a problem with tourists, but was against tourists who came to SA to commit crimes.

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