Foreigners make positive contribution to SA - Gigaba

By Drum Digital
16 April 2015

Cape Town - Foreign nationals must not be attacked because most contribute positively to the country, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Parliament on Thursday.

"From the outset, we would like to make the emphatic statement that most foreign nationals make very positive contributions to society," he said during a questions sitting.

He joined President Jacob Zuma and opposition parties in condemning xenophobic attacks in Durban and other parts of the country.

Gigaba said many foreigners healed citizens back to health in hospitals and taught their children. They also expanded the national fiscus, while still having to send remittances back to their home countries as well as sustain households in South Africa.

"Consequently, the assumption that all foreign nationals do not pay tax is as preposterous as the assumption that all South Africans do pay tax," he said.

The country had become more cosmopolitan and diverse as a result of immigrants, he said. "The irrefutable fact is that it is wrong to claim that all immigrants are undocumented and therefore all illegal."

Gigaba said it was also wrong to claim all foreign nationals committed crime.

"We must all be very concerned about the repercussions of this criminality as it might spark diplomatic and retaliatory attacks against South Africans in other countries".

He said his department would spend R118m over the next three years in recruiting inspectors to detect companies and businesses employing undocumented migrants. The department was working to reintegrate foreign nationals who wished to be reintegrated, and assist those with voluntary repatriation.

"We must emphasise the point that not all South Africans are involved in this savagery," Gigaba said. "We wish to add that people must refer all their grievances to the state".

Taking a stab at EFF leader Julius Malema, who interrupted Thursday's proceedings, he said it was not the occasion for cheap political scoring.

"The disrespect he shows for his own father, he now transfers to the president," Gigaba said.

He called for sober minds and solid leadership.

-Source: News24

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