Migration management a collective effort: Minister Gigaba

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says migration is not a matter that can be resolved by governments alone, as it needs a multiplicity of stakeholders.

The Minister was addressing a diplomatic corps session in Tshwane on Tuesday, organised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in partnership with Swiss and the Mexican diplomatic representations.

The session focuses on the ongoing process of the UN Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The IOM is a dynamic and growing inter-governmental organisation, with 151 member states, committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

“South Africa wishes to commend the co-facilitators for the transparent and inclusive approach in its engagement with the multi-stakeholders over and above Member States,” Minister Gigaba said.

He commended the IOM for the coordinating role and technical expertise it has availed to this process. 

“We are pleased to learn that this process, complex and challenging as it is, thus far is progressing well as the convergence of views is beginning to emerge.   

“South Africa is committed to regional economic integration and is intrinsically part of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” Minister Gigaba said.

Minister Gigaba said South Africa has experienced large mixed-migration flows and seen an unprecedented number of migrants and refugees seeking opportunities and sanctuary in South Africa post-independence.  

“Our relatively strong economy, stable democracy, liberal and human rights centred policies arguably serve as a pull factor, offering migrants and refugees alike a sense of hope to break away from poverty, conflicts and underdevelopment,” the Minister said on Tuesday.

Minister Gigaba said the high levels of unemployment fuels migration. With regard to the protection of migrants, Minister Gigaba told the diplomats that the South African government condemns xenophobia in the strongest terms.

“The migration particularly of low-skilled working class migrants poses a particular challenge, as it exerts pressures on the economy, social services and infrastructure, which in turn gives rise to competition for scarce resources in local poor and working class communities, heightening tensions which on several occasions have led to outbursts of xenophobic violence directed at immigrants.

“The South African government has sought to engage communities to make them understand the rights of migrants,” Minister Gigaba said, adding that the South African government has also sought to align its migration policy with the International Policy on migration. – SAnews.gov.za

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