Motsoaledi criticises CoCT for not enforcing by-laws against foreign nationals

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the City of Cape Town should have enforced its by-laws instead of trying to shift blame to the Department of Home Affairs.

FILE: Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Home Affairs has criticised the City of Cape Town for failing to enforce its by-laws, leading to hundreds of refugees illegally occupying buildings and camping on the streets for months.

The department, led by Minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed Parliament's Home Affairs committee about the ongoing impasse between disgruntled foreign nationals and authorities.

The foreign nationals had called on the South African government to send them to other countries due to xenophobia.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the City of Cape Town should have enforced its by-laws instead of trying to shift blame to the Department of Home Affairs.

Motsoaledi, who has called on the foreign nationals to reintegrate into the communities they came from, said that the current issue was not only a Home Affairs problem and other spheres of government and stakeholders should also play their part.

"It also taught us that municipalities are duty-bound to enforce by-laws and their statutory and constitutional duties and responsibilities accordingly instead of throwing the matter to Home Affairs under the pretext that somebody is a refugee or an asylum seeker."

But the City of Cape Town's executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said that there was a reason why certain by-laws were not enforced.

"The city has enforced its by-laws during the first interdict application. People were then released after being taken to court and the court held that were certain aspects of the by-laws that we could not enforce pending the determination of the interdict."