Action SA’s Herman Mashaba, says foreigners need registration and regulation. Conversely, EFF’s Julius Malema says all African borders should be open. Correctly, Malema says Africa’s borders are colonial impositions. Moreover, colonial borders focus on river lines and not tribespeople. Historically, Eastern Zimbabwean tribes ruled a clear corridor to the Indian ocean, prior to colonial rule.
Foreigners need regulation
However, modern Africa is what it is, divided by borders albeit porous ones. Additionally, foreigner registration is more important than Mashaba’s political ideology. Firstly, to ensure job security for South Africans. Secondly, to harness foreign skills to improve South African lives. Thirdly, to ensure the safety of foreigners within South Africa’s borders. Finally, to manage safe, empathetic repatriation whenever possible.
Undoubtedly, South Africa needs skills. Sadly, skilled and educated South Africans are leaving the country. Meanwhile, an estimated 3.9million foreigners are living in SA. Not all of them are undocumented but a lot of them are illegal and vulnerable.
Foreigners float below the law
Criminality, in South Africa, is a significant problem. Moreover, South Africans blame crime on foreigners. Undoubtedly, drug abuse, prostitution and violent acts are committed by people below the legal radar. However, crime is not limited to foreigners. Clearly, human trafficking is alive and well amongst the illegal populace. Sadly, these people think they have no recourse to assistance or justice. Moreover, too often they are correct.
Additionally, illegal foreigners are not all drug dealers or human trafficked prostitutes. Furthermore, South Africans exploit foreigners in their neighbourhoods and industries. Recently, a local domestic requested assistance for a Malawian she knows. Apparently, the Malawian, managing a large garden for over nine years, is a slave. Importantly, the verbal contract with the employer is food, shelter and the promise of a car for the gardener after ten years. Finally, the ten-year contract is finishing at the end of next month.
Accused of crime
Suddenly, the gardener is accused of theft but the case was dismissed owing to lack of evidence. Undaunted, the homeowner took out a restraining order and the man has to leave or face arrest again. Tragically, the Malawian disappeared before confirmation of the full story. Worse, no South African authorities are able to assist as the man does not technically exist in this country. Meanwhile, a lawyer assures me the homeowner probably has a file full of signed payslips and no “he said/she said” law stands up in our courts.
Slavery, human trafficking, and crime is not limited to poor areas. Unashamedly, it is happening in your neighbourhood right now. Moreover, Herman Mashaba is right, registration is imperative and important.
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