There seems to be some hope for cross party acceptance that new immigration rules for South Africa are required. Any immigration rules should foremost meet the basic criteria of 2 simple factors:
1. The legitimate protection of South African jobs and businesses
2. The attraction of needed skills and investment
Current rules often fall short to deliver and it is hoped that any new legislation would go much further to encouraging immigration that meets these two criteria.
Following on from Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma calls for tightening up of immigration laws in South Africa, the Senior Democratic Alliance official Manny De Freitas has said the Department needs to be far more selective in who it allows into the country.
Interviewed by The South African newspaper, De Freitas the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs said, “South Africa… is a big magnet in Africa, attracting people from all over, and you’ve got to be selective. You’ve got to be a sieve. You can’t accept every Tom, Dick and Harry – which frankly, is what South Africa has been doing. You need to put in certain measures to say, we need to sift you out. South Africa has been accepting everybody and that’s part of the problem.”
De Freitas, a member of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, went on to say that as a committee they were examining ways of using some of the current measures of control that UK immigration has in place.
One aspect of proposed UK legislation is around minimum income levels of immigrants. This controversial proposal, by UK Immigration Minister Damian Green, would see immigrants needing to earn more than £31,000 a year to be able to migrate to Britain. De Freitas did not confirm that this may form part of South Africa’s future immigration legislation.
The reality of it is that South Africa needs to attract certain skills and of course inward investment. To draw upon the UK ministers words: South Africa needs to know not just that the right numbers of people are coming here but that the right people are coming here. People who will benefit South Africa, not just those who benefit by South Africa. ”
De Freitas commended the newly appointed chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, currently the Home Affairs Minister, for ‘dramatic improvements” in the department and the “great strides taken”.
Immigration companies and potential immigrants would no doubt welcome new immigration rules for South Africa and a stricter control of the immigration process. It would however need to go hand in hand with a clearly defined set of regulations that were well implemented and encouraged the right type of foreigner to enter, settle and invest into South Africa.