South Africa is set to host a two-day international conference next week on migration, as it ploughs ahead with plans to craft a policy that seeks to manage the influx of immigrants.
The country remains a destination of choice for millions of black immigrants escaping hunger, poverty, joblessness and war in their respective African countries, but in the process angering locals and resulting in sporadic xenophobic attacks against the former.
Locals now blame the immigrants for ‘stealing’ their job and business opportunities. And just last month, black immigrants came under violent attacks from locals who also ransacked their shops and homes.
The S.A Department of Home Affairs said the two-day national international migration conference will be held on March 17 to 18 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
“Minister Malusi Gigaba has identified the development of a new international migration policy as one of his top priorities during his term of office. This policy review seeks to lay a solid policy foundation for South Africa to manage international migration securely and effectively, in line with the National Development Plan,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said the conference will be attended by Ministers of Home Affairs from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland; ambassadors; as well as international experts and practitioners invited to share international experience on the management of international migration.
“In the 2014/15 financial year, the Department of Home Affairs submitted a Discussion Paper on international migration to the Minister for approval. The Discussion Paper served as a basis for drafting the Green Paper, which was submitted in the 2015/16 financial year and approved by the Minister on 29 March 2016. The Green Paper has been used as a basis for drafting the White Paper on international migration to be submitted to Cabinet for approval by 31 March 2017,” the ministry added.