Mashaba slams ANC over 'inaction' on foreigners

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
Herman Mashaba Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has accused the ANC of deliberately keeping the majority of black people "poor and dependent" on government for survival.

Mashaba, who has written to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and his Labour Department counterpart Mildred Oliphant requesting "an urgent meeting", told Sowetan yesterday that locals were deprived of opportunities due to the ANC's unwillingness to fully engage with their needs.

"I'm totally convinced that the ANC wants black people to be dependent on government, let them remain poor, illiterate, let them not have the skills so that our people can just be voting cattle for them," he said.

The mayor called for inspectors from the Department of Labour to conduct inspections on hundreds of Johannesburg businesses which were "exploiting" undocumented foreigners while depriving poor locals of job opportunities.

Mashaba said he had tried since December 2016 to get Home Affairs to prioritise dealing with undocumented immigrants in the city but without success.

"Isn't it aware of these undocumented foreign nationals, why this unwillingness to act? I'm convinced it's deliberate."

He said after meeting with Gigaba in 2016 they agreed a follow-up engagement would take place in January last year but it never took place.

"He (Gigaba) committed in December 2016 that, by the end of January, he would come to my office with other relevant departments so that we can assist our people; he cancelled on the day of the meeting and he disappeared."

Home Affairs' Thabo Mokgola said they were unable to comment on Mashaba's views on its alleged unwillingness to address the issue of undocumented

"The minister is on record saying the overhauling of the migration policy will address issues that have been raised by various South Africans, including Mashaba." ANC spokesman Pule Mabe could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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