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DA: Illegal immigration an important issue for potential voters

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the African National Congress (ANC) of failing to protect the country’s borders, creating the impression that most foreign nationals are in South Africa illegally.

The Gauteng DA's Solly Malatsi, Jacques Julius and Solly Msimanga briefs the media on 15 October 2018. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the African National Congress (ANC) of failing to protect the country’s borders, creating the impression that most foreign nationals are in South Africa illegally.

The party says it will focus on illegal immigration ahead of elections in 2019 as it believes the issue is important to potential voters.

The DA’s Jacques Julius says the ANC has left South Africa’s borders open for too long.

“The perception created by the ANC, opening the borders, is one that I think will not inflame xenophobia. It’s rather the time to take on this issue because leaving it will not make it go away.”

Gauteng will be a hotly contested province.

The party's Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga on Monday revealed plans to secure the country’s borders and stop illegal immigration.

Msimanga says the issue of undocumented migrants is a ticking time bomb but he says his party has a plan. He says that the ANC has failed to deal with this issue and his party is ready to step up after next year’s elections.

In a statement, the DA says South Africa, under the ANC, is not the country it could be.

“We have been taken down the wrong path by decades of ANC mismanagement and corruption. One of the areas that have been affected most by a failing ANC is immigration.”

The party says that the impact of "porous" borders and an "ineffective" Home Affairs Department has created a situation where officials are completely unaware of the number of people who come in and out of the country.

"That has profound consequences on the efforts against cross-border crime such as human and drug trafficking, stock theft as well on the provision of basic services to our people – as local and provincial governments are forced to plan and budget for service provision without the most basic of information."

The DA says no country in the world can afford to not secure their borders.

“The ANC has failed to secure our borders, under its watch the Department of Home Affairs is crippled by corruption and inefficiency to a point where it actively contributes to illegal immigration, and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has not been afforded the human and technical resources it needs to patrol our borders and secure them.”

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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