against the country’s existing immigration laws, suggesting that she supported more stringent immigration policies in order to protect African immigrants from local aggression. The government can no longer be lenient when facing the “real challenge” of local hostility towards immigrants; a segment of the population she has admitted the department could not accurately account for.
“The policy has to be tightened and set limits as to what people can do. Especially during this phase of high rates of unemployment, high levels of poverty [and] inequities that people are complaining about. “We cannot be too liberal as though we are not dealing with a real situation that affects people on a daily basis,” stated the minister. Mkhize was formerly the deputy minister of telecommunications and postal services until President Zuma’s most controversial cabinet shuffle, which took place in April.
Her comments fall in line with the goals set out by former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigabe, who replaced Pravin Gordhan during the aforementioned cabinet shuffle. Minster Gigabe claimed before leaving Home Affairs that the proposed policies of a new bill will further protect genuine asylum seekers while “closing legal loopholes currently exploited by some migrants”. Both have supported the formation of a single authority made up of police, customs, the agriculture department and the South African Revenue Service (SARS), while overseen by the Department of Home Affairs.
Critics within opposition parties however stand firmly and publicly against this proposal, citing the potential for corruption via chaos of managerial confusion such a body would cause. On the matter of the African Union’s Agenda for 2063, which focuses on visa-free travel on the continent by 2018, Mkhize said her department backed the idea, but implied it wouldn’t work in South Africa.