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Buthelezi to host debate on illegal immigration

27th November 2003

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The Minister of the Department of Home Affairs Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced yesterday that his department will be holding a public consultation on the "Phenomenon of Illegal Immigration in South Africa", in Centurion, Gauteng, on December 2, 2003, at.

The consultation on illegal immigration intends to begin a process aimed at acquiring the basic facts of illegal immigration.

The immigration advisory board has the statutory function of advising the Minister and the government.

“It is my intention to create a realistic, informed and reliable picture on the phenomenon of illegal immigration including its causes, dynamics and effects in order to be able to advise our government on actions to be taken and to engage public debate on it,” said Buthelezi.

He said that he is concerned that at present there is insufficient information about the dimension, distribution, impact, implications and effects of illegal immigration, not knowing how many people are involved, where they are and what their impact is on communities.

The high-level expertise involved in this public consultation aim to begin a process of discussion on this matter.

The Immigration Act has made it easier for foreigners to be in South Africa legally and the Minister said that the Inspectorate must concretise the Act's accompanying intention to deal with those who are in South Africa illegally with greater determination and efficacy.

IN addition, he Centre for Development and Enterprise will be undertaking research on Xenophobia, while the Institute for Security Studies will be undertaking a research project on illegal immigration and its possible positive and negative social impact.
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