- The DA wants foreign nationals to be given amnesty to leave South Africa and attempt to head back to the country through legal means
- The party has drafted a proposal with the aim of, among other things, addressing harmful myths about foreign nationals in South Africa
- The DA believes associating foreign nationals with crime in the country is prejudice, citing that most incidents are perpetrated by locals
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JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is making its voice heard in the ongoing clamour caused by members of the Operation Dudula Movement for foreigners to leave South Africa and head back to their countries of origin.
The official opposition to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has drafted a proposal in which it suggests that undocumented foreign nationals be given clemency to leave and attempt to re-enter the country lawfully or apply for visas.
The party's stance comes on the backdrop of clashes between foreign-shop owners and Dudula ("push back") movement members in Johannesburg's Alexandra township in the past several days.
Shops and other businesses were forced to close their doors as the group swept across the area to locate migrant workers and employers who did not possess valid documentation, TimesLIVE reported.
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Foreigners shouldn't be punished
DA head of policy Gwen Ngwenya recently made her party's proposals on migration and how these policies can best be implemented to ramp up the accommodation of foreigners.
The party is proposing free movement of people, migrants' economic participation and expunging harmful myths about them, whom she suggests are being used as scapegoats for the country's unemployment situation.
"A suggestion is to deliver an amnesty term for all undocumented settlers. They should have an option to return to their home countries and attempt to re-enter legally, without discrimination, or apply for the relevant visa," Ngwenya stressed.
"Why should outsiders get clemency when the Department of Home Affairs is not put together? Similar to driver's licences, a penal approach risks mixing up blameless people with those who are unruly."
Ngwenya added that corruption and a lack of efficiency in the system impedes immigrants from succeeding in getting legal papers. She said the increase of criminal syndicates preying on despairing settlers contributed to the stereotype of likening foreigners to crime in the country, EWN reported.
"The Institute for Security Studies (ISS), in its research, has determined that the majority of violent crimes in SA are committed by local citizens and not by legal or illegal immigrants," she said.
SA side-eyes the DA
Social media users expressed their two cents' worth on the DA's move, with some pessimistic of immigrants conforming to new laws. Others slammed the DA and accused the party of not putting South Africans first.
@Thabo Mabula wrote:
"It should be on work, spousal or study visa. On shortage of skills, not just any job or as tourists. We love them but can't have them all over just because. No, it's tough love. We also should go to them for the same reasons."
@Pinky Khumba said:
"I've always said this, these people enjoy having these foreigners here but forget that we, in townships, are the ones affected by the overpopulation."
@Sipho Ntekiso added:
"South Africans are crying out for help. The rate of unemployment is very high, drug abuse and crime conducted by foreigners. What happened to those Somalians who were displaying the Somalian flag and carrying heavy machine guns in Port Elizabeth? This government must wake up before it's too late. The bomb is ticking!!!"
DA wants SA government to condemn Russia for Ukraine invasion
Elsewhere, Briefly News previously reported that a petition did the rounds and attracted more than 4 000 signatures, the DA said, as it called for the South African government to take a firm stand against Russia in the war with Ukraine.
The party slammed the ANC over the country's recent decision to abstain from a United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution to condemn Moscow for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, TimesLIVE reported.
The DA's Darren Bergman said the party felt dissatisfied with the governing party's alleged flip-flopping and that it should take a decisive stand in calling for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, according to EWN.
Source: Briefly News