S.Africa battles with xenophobic uprising - CNBC Africa

S.Africa battles with xenophobic uprising

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

South Africa's Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba is fighting to stop xenophobic attacks in Durban. PHOTOS: GCIS

South Africa is battling to curb the ever ballooning foreign undocumented labour which has seen the resurgence of xenophobic attacks in Durban.

Goodwill Zwelithini, King of the Zulu nation was recently reported to have called for deportation of foreign migrants among others claiming they were stealing jobs from locals.

(READ MORE: Four killed as South Africans loot immigrants' shops)

Immigration law experts say the immigration law made it almost impossible for most foreigners to legitimise their stay and work in the country.

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba last year extended the stay for work and study of Zimbabweans who in 2010 were awarded with permits to remain in the country.

According to Craig Smith of Craig Smith & Associates said the minister extended the DZP permits for Zimbabweans for further three years but only previous permit holders qualified for the extension.

“It is estimated there are 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa and only 250,000 who managed to apply for extension of their permits which will over two million more undocumented,” said Smith.

President Robert Mugabe recently on a state visit admitted that his citizens were straining South Africa’s social delivery.


Sergio Carciotto, director at Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa said the nature of the immigration act favoured locals ahead of foreign nations.

“It’s very challenging if not impossible for these categories of people to come and conduct any work, business activities in South Africa because they cannot meet the requirements prescribed by the immigration Act,” said Carciotto.

“In fact it will be impossible for them to prove that there is no South African citizen the kind of jobs the foreign nationals come to do in the country.”

Carciotto said South Africa has a number of bilateral agreements to recruit labour force with countries like Mozambique and Lesotho, these agreements cover mining and agriculture.