Illegal immigrants run amok in SA

While the country struggles with porous borders, the Illegal Border Crossing Bill is stuck in the National Council of Provinces.

The National Development Plan estimates that between 2001 and 2007, only 3% of Gauteng's population growth was due to cross-border migration.

The migration flows hold municipalities hostage in the planning, budgeting and delivery of services.

Home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has lamented marriages of convenience perpetrated by our own people and the clergy in certain instances. Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the border-control lapses to cheat the system.

All sorts of illegal migrants roam the streets, pretending to be entrepreneurial while thieving and trafficking drugs. It doesn't make business sense that they fled their countries to sell parallel goods in our communities where the average monthly rental is at least R800, excluding storeroom.

It's common cause that they resort to crime to supplement their income or become increasingly vulnerable to be used by locals in the perverseness of malevolence. Others hijack buildings with impunity and occupy land to build illegal structures for settlement.

The police and municipal officials know about them but choose to turn a blind eye or take bribes through blackmail and threats. Not only do they sell their souls to the devil, they pawn the country to criminals. The same can be said about ordinary citizens who harbour these criminals in their backyards. We've allowed lawlessness to reach levels of prodigious proportions to render our communities unsafe for living and doing business.

Morgan Phaahla

Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni

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