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Parly committee welcomes arrest of 37 illegal immigrants in Pretoria

The committee's chairperson Bongani Bongo said they have highlighted illegal immigration as an area of focus.

FILE: Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee chairperson Bongani Bongo. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee has welcomed the arrest and possible deportation of 37 illegal immigrants in Pretoria.

The group, which includes 34 males and four females, were arrested this week.

The committee's chairperson Bongani Bongo said they have highlighted illegal immigration as an area of focus.

Bongo said they would work with the department to ensure that measures to halt illegal immigration into the country were implemented.

“The lack of the implementation or enactment of the Border Management Authority Bill has created a gap in terms of us having to manage the issue of undocumented immigrants so what we’re saying that the department must fast track the documents it has shared with the committee.”

He said every person within the boundaries of South Africa must be documented to ensure that proper records are kept.

“We want a clear register that would say this one is documented, this one is undocumented and must be documented, this one is here for economic activities or this one is here for refuge purposes so that we’re clear who is South Africa and for what purpose.”

Bongo said they were aware of the inefficiencies within the Department of Home Affairs, which must be urgently resolved to ensure that migrants were not disadvantaged when applying for documentation.