The City of Johannesburg’s lawyers have written to newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, demanding that her department produce a plan to address illegal immigration by 24 November.
“The minister has until 24 of November to respond. Failing which, the city will have no option but to pursue the matter through our courts,” Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said.
Mashaba said he had on numerous occasions sought an audience with the Home Affairs Department. He said the attempts had been in vain.
“Many people, out of desperation born out of political, social and economic instability in their countries, seek a better life in South Africa and the city of Johannesburg in particular.”
Within the context of the city, illegal immigration compounds serious challenges for the provision of temporary emergency accommodation for residents and other basic services.
“There are still over 120 allegedly undocumented immigrants being housed at the Wembley Stadium in the line with the city’s obligation to provide temporary emergency accommodation. This followed a fire at the Cape York building in the Inner City on 5 July. Now into the fourth month, the department has still not determined the status of these residents.”
Mashaba said that despite being aware of the crisis, the department had refused to develop a proactive plan for addressing the challenge.