23 January 2017

The Department of Home Affairs has distanced itself from messages circulating on social media networks and Short Message Services (SMS) alleging it has ordered immediate deportation of undocumented migrants from Monday 23 January 2017. It wishes to inform the public that such information is false. No such statement was made or issued by the department or any official.

Home Affairs acts consistently within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic and seeks at all times to uphold the rule of law. It would run contrary to the laws of our country to instruct citizens, as purported in the malicious messages, to take the law into their hands, and to close companies down without due process.

It is through the immigration services, and its inspectorate, that the department enforces immigration legislation, manages the immigration system and effects deportations, in terms of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 and regulations. 

The inspectorate has a duty to ensure that persons in South Africa are correctly documented, reside in the country on a lawful basis and acquire documents and status lawfully. It has standardised systems relating to the detection, detention and deportation of illegal foreign nationals in South Africa.

The Minister of Home Affairs will soon explain in more detail the department’s approach on this important matter of immigration and asylum-seeker management. He will shed more light on South Africa’s implementation of systems for managing processes relating to asylum and undocumented migrants, among others.  

Citizens and all other persons in the country are strongly advised to ignore this false alarm that is seemingly seeking to fuel tensions in the country, at a time when priority is given to economic development, creating jobs and fighting poverty and inequality. It is in the best interest of the country for government and citizens to do all in their power together to work for stability and peace, while combating illegal migration and other crimes through lawful means.

The department had called for cooperation of citizens and stakeholders to ensure a safe and secure South Africa. It was in this spirit that the SA Cabinet had established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration to focus on key migration issues and how they impact on the nation.

For media enquiries contact Mayihlome Tshwete or Thabo Mokgola on 060 962 4982