Government to prioritise border control: President Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa says the country's borders will be beefed-up following recent attacks on foreign nationals.
Cyril Ramaphosa says the country's borders will be beefed-up following recent attacks on foreign nationals.
Image: GCIS

In the wake of recent xenophobic attacks, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government will prioritise border control.

Speaking at a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) this week, he said the government would ensure there were tight regulations to deter illegal immigration.

“We proceed from the principle, as does every other sovereign state, that all who live in South Africa must be legally permitted to do so.

“Police and immigration officials who take bribes in return for making cases go away, for releasing impounded goods or for issuing fraudulent documents must be dealt with firmly,” he added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will prioritise border control.

Ramaphosa also addressed the concerns of many South Africans over issues around border control and alleged criminal elements.

“We know that our people are concerned about illegal immigration and about some foreign nationals being involved in crime.

“We understand the concerns of local businesses struggling to compete against counterfeit goods being sold at prices they cannot match.”

He said all those operating businesses in the country, foreign or not, must be registered and meet the requirements of the law.

“South African employers, be they in the trucking industry, hospitality or agriculture, must obey the law.

“We should consider, as many other countries have, the regulation of how foreign nationals can own and participate in certain types of businesses within the small- and medium-enterprise sector,” said Ramaphosa.

He commented on drug trafficking in urban and rural areas, saying it needs to be dealt with as a law-enforcement matter, irrespective of the nationality of the individuals involved.

“Both South Africans and foreign nationals are involved in this. But we also have to acknowledge that there are certain parts of the country where specific foreign nationals have been identified as the main dealers and peddlers.”