Don't overlook contribution of foreign nationals: Gigaba

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pretoria - Many foreign nationals in South Africa make a positive contribution to society and the economy, says Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

In his statement during the debate on the recent outbreak of violence against foreign nationals in the National Assembly on Thursday, the Minister condemned violent attacks on foreign nationals.

“From the outset, we would like to make the emphatic statement that most foreign nationals in South Africa make a very positive contribution to our society and economy.

“First and foremost, immigrants contribute towards our country’s economic development by investing in the economy, supplying critical skills including in our health facilities, teaching our children and youth in schools and universities and thus transferring their knowledge and skills to them,” said the Minister.

The Minister said that these foreign nationals also pay tax, contributing to the national fiscus while others travel to South Africa to buy groceries that they then sell in their respective countries.

“Consequently, the allegation that all foreign nationals in South Africa do not pay tax is as preposterous as the assumption that all South Africans do pay tax.”

The Minister said most foreign nationals contribute to enhancing South Africa’s national security and “ensure that we can manage the visitors in our midst, whilst we can protect both these visitors in our country as well as South Africans”.

The Minister said South Africa has enhanced its legislation and regulations to more effectively protect South Africa from the risks arising from international migration.

“Thirdly, immigrants in our country contribute towards nation building and enhance our social cohesion by bringing more diversity to our nation and creating more understanding of the diverse nature, not only of Africans … but also of the peoples of the world,” said Minister Gigaba.

He said immigrants have integrated South Africa into the global community and African immigrants in particular have made South Africa an integral part of the African continent.

“We, as a people, are better and more human than we have ever been because of these fellow Africans and peoples of elsewhere in the world that have chosen voluntarily, and mostly through regular means, to live amongst us and make South Africa their permanent home.” -