Pretoria- President Jacob Zuma has assigned the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko as well as State Security Minister David Mahlobo to work with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to deal with the violence that has broken out in some parts of Durban.
“The President strongly condemns violence against foreign nationals as well as the destruction of property and the looting of shops in Durban and in any part of the Republic,” said the Presidency on Sunday.
President Zuma has emphasised that government is addressing the issues that are being raised by citizens nationally, in particular, complaints about illegal and undocumented migrants, the takeover of local shops and other businesses by foreign nationals as well as perceptions that foreign nationals commit crime.
"The Department of Home Affairs which has largely been a governance and administration department is being re-orientated into a security department and is being prepared to take its rightful place within the Justice and Crime Prevention Cluster (JCPS). As part of this re-engineering of the Department, 350 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members are being transferred to the Home Affairs department for deployment to various ports of entry as immigration officials to enhance the capacity to curb illegal migration."
In addition, the SANDF has deployed military personnel along the border line in seven provinces to curb border crime activities and illegal border crossings. Government is also making progress with establishing a Border Management Agency, which is a single entity that will manage the entire border environment and all ports of entry.
“The initiative will go a long way in tackling challenges of illegal and undocumented migrants and will also prevent security threats,'' said the President.
All spheres of government to enforce laws
President Zuma said that all spheres of government have also been directed to enforce laws and by-laws to curb the growth of illegal trading and unlicensed shops which appears to be of concern to citizens throughout the country.
"Government is also introducing more measures to support small businesses so that shopkeepers and other SMMEs in black residential areas that are under pressure can obtain assistance. We urge citizens to allow government to attend to these and other immigration challenges and to not take the law into their own hands,'' said President Zuma.
The President also reminded citizens that not all foreign nationals are living in South Africa illegally.
"Many foreign nationals have legal status and contribute meaningfully to the economy and the development of our country and also abide by the country's laws," said President Zuma.
The President added that the police are working hard to arrest foreign nationals who engage in criminal activities and many of these arrests and convictions are announced publicly.
"We reiterate that there can be no justification for attacking foreign nationals. Those who are in the country illegally should be reported to the police and they will be returned to their countries of origin in a lawful manner.”
South Africans urged to report crime
The President called on citizens to provide information to the police if they know of foreign nationals who are engaged in criminal activities.
“They should not be attacked. We wish to emphasise that police will also take action against all people who engage in violence, including foreign nationals as well if they attack citizens,'' said the President.
The President added that Government will continue to provide support to refugees and asylum seekers as required in terms of international law and the country's own Constitution which enshrines human rights and dignity.
"We thank all religious leaders, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders around Durban who are providing humanitarian assistance. We should work together to find a solution to this challenge," said the President.-SAnews.gov.za