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Newsroom 13-08-2015 11:33 AM

Update on immigration regulations
 
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Department of Home Affairs has briefed him about the latest developments around the immigration regulations.

The Deputy President said this when fielding questions from Members of Parliament at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Yes, I have been briefed. As President Jacob Zuma indicated … government has established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine and remedy any potential unintended consequences resulting from the implementation of the immigration regulations.

“The Immigration Act and its regulations are aimed at striking a balance between the need to protect our sovereignty and national security, to advance the national development agenda and to honour our international obligations,” he said.

President Zuma announced on Tuesday that the Deputy President would chair a newly-established Inter-Ministerial Committee on immigration regulations. He was briefing the media at the Union Buildings to update on government’s progress since his State of the Nation Address.

The Committee has been tasked with assessing concerns raised over the amended visa regulations, which, amongst others, require South Africans or foreigners travelling with minors to carry an unabridged birth certificate when entering or leaving the country through ports of entry.

The immigrations, which came into effect in June, were introduced to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and national security, especially concerns around child trafficking.

The Deputy President said as a country, South Africa cannot compromise its sovereignty or security while at the same time, economic and social effects of any measures that government adopts cannot be ignored.

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee therefore needs to examine all available evidence on the impact of the introduction of these new regulations and take steps to mitigate any negative consequences.

“It should be noted that alongside the implementation of the new regulations, government is introducing several measures to improve the efficiency, security and accessibility of our immigration processes.”

He said the Minister of Home Affairs will soon provide further information on the matter.

Government is aware of all the concerns that have been raised over the introduction of the new regulations, he said.

“The process being led by the Inter-Ministerial Committee aims to address these and any other related concerns in a methodical, rational and balanced manner.”

SA, China to promote industrialisation, create jobs

Responding to a question about the outcomes of his recent official visit to the People’s Republic of China, the Deputy President said the economic powerhouse had committed to cooperate on industrialisation and improving South Africa’s economic capacity and its ability to create jobs.

China is reportedly South Africa’s largest trading partner.

“China has agreed and committed to share its experience and expertise on special economic zones. It has agreed to encourage its companies to invest in South Africa's special economic zones and science and technology parks.

“China has also agreed to share its experience and assist South Africa in expediting the implementation of our ocean economy programme. An important area of cooperation is in the development of the skills needed for South Africa's economic growth and development,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za


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