The government is prepared to engage with those concerned about the negative economic impact of the newly introduced immigration laws, Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba told The New Age’s televised breakfast briefing in Midrand.
Short of acknowledging the regulations’ shortcomings, which immigration experts have termed ‘Draconian’, Gigaba said: “Our doors are not closed. We are open to further engagement on the consequences. You can never introduce new regulations that are perfect and will work.”
The regulations, which came into effect in May, introduce a new visa regime for South Africa. It outlines a clear distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits. Furthermore, it stipulates that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa can no longer do so in South Africa but have to do so at missions abroad.
In what is clearly a kick in the teeth to the Department of Home Affairs, recently a foreigner with a South African spouse who was declared “undesirable” at a port of entry took the matter to court and the verdict was in his favour. Issues like these are likely to increase.