PERMITS STILL AN ISSUE FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS
By: Xolisani Khumalo
Foreign nationals blame government for the hostility many endure, expired permits and illegal squatting.
The backlog at the Department of Home Affairs and the Refugee Agency in Durban have unfortunately led to some individuals being arrested and some deported due to permits having
“When permits expire we are given a month to renew them, but I was arrested during the amnesty period for having an expired permit.
Prior to the arrest I had been applying for an extension, but I was taken back and forth until the arrest,” said Wajahat Ezra, street vendoon Smith Street in Durban.
Ezra added that the government should be blamed for some of the illegal squatting and expired permits because “they make people either wait forever or keep on sending them
According to the Refugee Agency in Durban, they alone see over 1000 people that come for either permits, or seek asylum and refugee.
“I’m here every morning and I still haven’t been granted a permit. It has been two weeks now, but I see no one to blame because there’s a huge amount of us,” said Frank Nakooda, a
Nigerian national who is in the country for job opportunities.
The backlog is however not the only issue foreign nationals have to face in South Africa.
According to unhcr.org website which is an international website for the United Nations Refugee Agency, in South Africa, an increase in mixed migratory movements has also led to
growing hostility towards refugees, putting pressure on asylum and protection space.
News reports stated that the recent attacks on foreign nationals was mainly because many locals thought they were losing jobs and job opportunities to foreign nationals that aren’t in
the country legally.
“We do apply for permits they just take long. If people have a problem with getting jobs, they must take it up with the government and not with the foreigners that are in the country for
means of survival,” Frank Ali shop owner in Musgrave.
Home Affairs officials were unavailable for comment and redirected Journalismiziko to the UNHRC website.
Khulekani Mkhize, a security guard attested to the speed in which the
people are attended to mentioning that he alone would see close to over one thousand people coming in, but by end of each day 80% would have been helped because “those people
(Home Affairs employees) inside are really dedicated”.
“They do get help. If any of them squat illegally or work without the necessary papers, I think those would be the ones that disregard the law and not that the department is slow,” said