Refugees Amendment Bill
By Hon Makhuba MP

 

 

National Assembly, 15th March 2011

Honourable Speaker

It is common knowledge that between the period 2007 – 2009 South Africa registered the highest number of new asylum seekers in the world, the vast majority of these applications coming from Zimbabwean nationals.

Whilst the amendments to this Bill are mainly of a technical nature they are still sorely needed in order to slipstream the process of refugee registration in this country, especially in light of our high refugee asylum status. Our processes and refugee officers must therefore be of the highest possible standard in order to ensure that Refugees in this country are dealt with in accordance with the methods of current International best practice.

South Africa is currently home to scores of refugees and asylum seekers, all of whom must be fed, housed, provided with education, healthcare and work.

We have extremely high unemployment and an economy that has not yet fully recovered from the global recession of 2009/2010. The question is, are we capable Mr Minister of providing safe and sustainable refuge to this number of refugees?

Another issue that the Inkatha Freedom Party is concerned about is the capability of the department of Home affairs to actually deal with the very complex nature of border issues as well as the current level of competency of the Departments refugee officers in handling complex international legal issues.

Nevertheless the bill is a step in the right direction and the Inkatha Freedom Party will support it.

I thank you

Hon HN Makhuba