Kya Sands illegal immigrants will not be singled out

Department officials are in the area today to register residents for essential documents.

Fire rages through Kya Sands informal settlement. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Home Affairs Department says it has no plans to take immediate action against illegal immigrants found living in Kya Sands in western Johannesburg.

Department officials are in the area today to register residents for essential documents such as IDs and birth certificates after a major fire ploughed through the informal settlement on Thursday.

It is estimated that 2,000 people in the area have been left homeless following the blaze, many of whom have lost all enabling documents.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says all affected residents will be registered and undocumented residents will not be singled out.

Gigaba says undocumented immigrants will only be dealt with through the department's routine processes.

"We know there are many undocumented migrants in South Africa but we have a way to deal with them on an ongoing basis. We don't try to use tragedies in order to penalise people who might be in South Africa without documents."

Residents have been working tirelessly to rebuild their homes but say they need more help from government.

The City of Johannesburg is expected to donate zinc and other materials to affected residents.

Last month, 15 shacks were gutted when another fire hit the area.