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Africa Solidarity Network welcomes Zuma’s call to deal with illegal migrants

While speaking at an ANC-led virtual panel discussion on Sunday, Zuma said the party had often avoided the matter for fear of being branded as xenophobic.

The crowd who gathered to support former President Jacob Zuma is seen reflected in his glasses as he waits to speak after appearing on corruption charges at the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - The Africa Solidarity Network has welcomed the call by former President Jacob Zuma for the African National Congress (ANC) to develop programmes that effectively deal with illegal immigration.

While speaking at an ANC-led virtual panel discussion on Sunday, Zuma said the party had often avoided the matter for fear of being branded as xenophobic.

The Africa Solidarity Network said Zuma’s call was a step in the right direction but more needed to be done to deal with xenophobia in South Africa.

“How do we deal with those who enter the country illegally? How do we prevent illegal migration? How do we make sure that South Africans don’t feel disadvantaged for jobs, housing and basic services?”

Zuma said the ANC needed to answer these questions because they had serious repercussions for social cohesion if left unattended.

He said the party needed to also establish ways of dealing with employers who appeared to be reserving jobs for foreign nationals, especially in the hospitality sector.

“We cannot ignore this matter and jump to it only when conflict breaks out.”

While Daniel Dunia of the Africa Solidarity Network has welcomed Zuma’s statement, he has called for the establishment of a comprehensive social cohesion programme, saying xenophobic violence in the country affected both legal and illegal immigrants.

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