Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa Says There Will Be No Camps for Zimbabwe Migrants

CAPE TOWN 28 August 2007 Sapa


Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula again dismissed
suggestions on Tuesday that government set up refugee camps for Zimbabweans in South Africa.

It is clear there is "a problem" in Zimbabwe and this should be accepted, she told a media briefing at Parliament.

However, South Africa could not establish refugee camps for people who did not want to be refugees.

Most illegal migrants from Zimbabwe simply wanted to earn some money and then return home, Mapisa-Nqakula said.

They would not be able to do this if they were placed in refugee camps.

Making people refugees also meant they could not return to their countries until all the problems there had been resolved.

Such camps would also have a "pull effect," with people "jumping the fence" [border] for a meal or other benefit before going back.

Although difficult, it was necessary to strike a balance between the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and the rule of law in South Africa, she said.

Deporting them had not helped and was a waste of money, because "two weeks later they are back in South Africa."

New ways of dealing with the illegal migrants from Zimbabwe had to be found; possibly such as temporary residence permits.

Zimbabweans with scarce skills could also make use of the work permit quota system, provided they brought their qualifications documents with them, Mapisa-Nqakula said.


SA needs new approach on Zim influx

Wed, 29 Aug 2007

The government needs to adopt a new approach to deal with Zimbabwean citizens flocking into South Africa, Home affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday.

The SABC reported her as saying one solution could be to provide them with temporary residence permits.

"...What that means is that they can't go back home until the political problems have been resolved," she told reporters in Cape Town.

"And yet the people who come in here would like to get a job, get some money and provide for their families. A number of them go back on a monthly basis."

Mapisa-Nqakula said it was a waste of money to keep deporting people as the majority of them returned within a few days.

She reiterated that no refugee camps would be set up to deal with the influx.


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