Interesting developments emerged in the aftermath of the recent cabinet statement. There is a clear indication of heightened immigration enforcement efforts across various fronts, including the authorization of business inspections. Notably, a new White Paper is set to be published for public commentary, hinting at a potential shift from permanent residency to long-term visas, a concept previously under discussion.

Here are some key takeaways from the recent developments:

Cabinet received a briefing on the international migration workshop organized by the Department of Home Affairs. This workshop involved participation from the DSBD, COGTA, Human Settlements, as well as traditional leaders and mayors from both metro and district municipalities. The primary focus was on addressing the challenges associated with illegal immigration, particularly in relation to the operations of spaza shops.

Significant outcomes include the introduction of comprehensive by-laws designed to tackle issues related to the enforcement of business regulations by municipalities and traditional authorities. There will be immediate joint inspections of businesses, with a particular focus on spaza shops. These inspections will be carried out by various government departments, including labour, health, small business development, and the Home Affairs immigration inspectorate teams, with the aim of ensuring compliance with relevant laws.

An audit of spaza shops located in villages and townships will be conducted, and mechanisms for their registration will be established by both traditional leaders and municipalities. Efforts are also being made to assist traditional authorities in maintaining records of foreign nationals within their communities.

Amendments are in progress for business licensing legislation to support individuals engaged in informal sector trading.

Cabinet has approved the publication of the White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugee Protection for public input. This draft policy aims to provide a framework that will guide the granting of residency and citizenship to foreign nationals, while also ensuring the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa. It takes into consideration the country’s national security interests and aligns with international agreements and protocols on migration to which South Africa is a party.

These developments signal a noteworthy shift in South Africa’s approach to immigration and related policies, inviting public engagement and feedback through the White Paper publication.

Stay informed and have your voice heard in shaping these important policies that impact our nation’s immigration landscape. We encourage you to participate by sharing your thoughts, insights, and recommendations on the upcoming White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugee Protection. Your feedback matters.