This briefing will be following a number of steps In the above mentioned issue of immigration. It will have nine subheadings acting as guidelines towards understanding what is being spoken about and these are as follows: Issue, Background, Policy Challenge, Actors, Policy Results, Policy Alternatives, Policy Option, Policy Actions and Resources. ISSUE As stated in the introduction the core issue focused on in this briefing is one of the immigration policies. One should also bear in mind that this issue alone brings in related problems which will later be discussed in this briefing.
However, one of the major related Issues brought by immigration Is Xenophobia. The International Organization for Migration (MOM) discovered that “Black South Africans do not easily accept black Africans they are at best tolerated and at worst brutalized and marginalia” (Fraught, 2000:1 Black South Africans somehow don’t have an attitude of brotherhood with their fellow African Brothers. Moreover, factors such as unemployment enhance and intensify the attitude of South Africans towards immigrants more especially black immigrants.
South Africans have this idea that immigrants attain Jobs they are supposed to be occupying (Blanched, 1997:1). There are clear indication of Xenophobia displayed in South Africa. One significant example can be seen during 1997 when a group called the unemployed People of South Africa ( (PUPS) threatened to forcibly get rid of illegal immigrants, “who are blamed for social problems ranging from substance abuse to unemployment”(Fraught, 2000:1). A lot of Immigrants are seen as only Interested In South Africa to make Illegal businesses such as selling drugs and employment theft.
A SAME survey shows that 60% of South African population with the same thought towards Immigrants have violent way of getting rid of ‘Aliens’. (Constance, 1999:2). BACKGROUND This part of the briefing will focus on the introduction of a number of policies which have been introduced, dealing with the issue of immigration in South Africa from pre apartheid era until post apartheid era. The issue of immigration in South Africa can be traced as far back as before the apartheid era.
The Immigrants Regulation Act of 1913 is known as the first immigration legislation passed in South Africa (Peppered, 1997: 3). One can argue that this policy was based on racial discrimination. It was aimed at excluding Indian immigrants who had been drawn to live in South Africa on he basis of the observing the possibility of living in South Africa by other Indians who entered South Africa (AS) after the sass’s as unskilled workers. It seemed as though the Indian population was growing vastly and this was seen as a threat to the authorities (white government) (Peppered, 1997: 3). The Immigration Regulation Act did not directly state that Indians were henceforth to be considered prohibited” (Peppered, 1997: 3). Everyone however, believed that this Act had been implemented for prohibition of the Indians. Moreover, this Act served as an addition o limiting the fluidity of Black people in South Africa (Peppered, 1997: 3). During Apartheid, the apartheid government adopted and intensified immigration policies on the basis of racial exclusion/ discrimination making the immigration policies favorable to the influx of skilled white people.
The Apartheid government passed several pieces of immigration legislation and increased authority exercised by the Minister and the state” (Bernstein &Weiner, 1999). The first policy they passed is known as The Population Registration Act of 1950, which is still in use to this date. This Act was placed in order to identify the population belonging to South Africa according to racial categorization. There were four categories namely: black, Indian, Colored and White population recognized.
All those belonging to the South African State were compelled to carry identification papers those papers were expected to contain the person’s place of birth, their racial classification and demographic placement. Moreover, this Act was seen as a way of spotting illegal immigrants living in South Africa (Bernstein , 1999). Later in the early ass’s the apartheid government under leadership of the National Party (NP) introduced an Act known as The Aliens Control Act of 1991. This act combined all previous legislation. This Act provided for specific exemptions from its provisions, making room for the several bilateral labor treaties that AS assigned with neighboring countries” (Peppered, 1997: 11). One can argue that it was basically influenced by foreign direct investment in neighboring countries. An amendment to this Act introduced in the year 1993. It stated that employment of an illegal Foreigner was not an offence under the circumstances that the employer to this illegal reigned operated their business in sincerity of intention and there was no doubt suspicion of the employee being illegal. Peppered, AAA:11). “This amendment clearly gave more power to employers” (Peppered, AAA:11). Any employer found out to have hired an illegal foreigner would protect themselves and the interest of their business by compromising the ‘illegal alien’ by making it seem as though they had no idea their employee was living illegally in South Africa even though they knew (Peppered, After Apartheid the NC (African National Congress) was placed in power under leadership of President Nelson Mandela.
The Mandela government’s placed an Amendment known as the Aliens Control Amendment Act of 1995. This Act aimed at getting rid of some of the discriminatory foundation of the 1991 Act. However, similar to the previous Acts this Amendment is aware of the historical racial categorization and also attempts monitor on the entry and exit of immigrants (especially illegal ones) and to tighten penalties for those who are in bridge of this Amendment Act (Peppered, AAA:11). Furthermore, in 2002 a new immigration Bill was introduced by the NC government.
The highlight in the Bill was on establishing a set of objective arterial on determining who was eligible to receive a Visa and who was not. Moreover, the aim was also to address and to deal with the confusing issues with regards to the previous governments’ immigration policy which was generally very discriminatory and biased (Bethlehem, 2000:3). ACTORS It is quite evident that the path taken by the South African government towards immigration at times is rather difficult to understand and inconsistent. “It appears as if the government has no coherent grasp of the migrant question” (Bernstein and Whiner, 1999:196).
This is evident in the number of different department involved in he immigration policy process (which will not be mentioned in this briefing) of which have conflicting ideas on the immigration policy. However, two departments with the highest degree of involvement in the immigration policy process are the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, these two departments were split amongst members of the Government of National Unit (Katz© and Hill, 1997:16). On one hand, (NC) was in control of Foreign Affairs.
On the other hand (IF) was in control of Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs is primarily expansible for the immigration policy, whereas the Department of Foreign Affairs is in control of discussions concerning the effects of South Africans immigration policy regionally and internationally (Katz© and Hill, 1997:18). Paying attention to the fact that these two departments involved in the immigration policy process have two different goals settings. It brings somewhat revelation to the contradictions and confusion in the immigration policy approach. The Department of Foreign Affairs is pursuing a policy of closer links with the rest of the Southern African Development Community’ (Katz© and Hill, 1997:18). The reasons behind this pursuit is to try to make right the wrongs of the apartheid government with regards to immigration policy in South Africa. This is where regional effects are considered. “At the same time, the Department of Home Affairs has been advocating the adoption of a more stringent approach to immigration management” (Katz© and Hill, 1997:18).
The rigidity of the Department of Home Affairs approach towards the immigration policy might not be in line with some of the plans in collaboration with South Africa as a member and this may limit or restrict South Africa from the CADS. Moreover, it may create a level of mistrust concerning South Africans involvement in the CADS. “Debate is necessary to identify methods by which to reconcile SAC’S national interest with its obligations to the region as a whole, and particularly to other members of the CADS” (Katz© and Hill, 1997:19). Immigration policy process. The one advocates for National interest.
The other one, advocates for regional interest. POLICY CHALLENGE In the following paragraphs one will see a number of challenges with regards to the immigration policy. The implementation process of the new immigration Bill of 2002 long with the administration that time can be described as disorderly and that pose as a policy challenge. Moreover, an intensifying factor to this situation was the fact that there had been visibility of miscommunication amongst “The President, The minister for the Department of Home Affairs and his Deputy and the Director General of the Department of Home Affairs” (Gordon, 1999:1).
These are: the top level bureaucrats dealing directly with the immigration policy (Gordon, 1999:1). Moreover, Miscommunication which were mentioned earlier created a lot of uncertainty in the Department of Home Affairs with regards to leadership concerning this policy. “Thus, expanding the potential for corruption and other abuses” (Katz© and Hill, 1997:23). This lack of adequacy and proper delegation made it easier for officials involved at the bottom of the hierarchy to create their own ways of dealing with this policy since they had not been given clear instructions from the top.
They manipulated this policy by creating ways in which it could benefit them directly such as the issuing out of fake Identity Documents, Visas and other documents to illegal immigrants Just so that hey could expand their pockets and this too can be seen as a policy challenge because the blurriness of officials at the top created room for manipulation at the bottom (Katz© and Hill, 1997:23-24). Other challenges are as follows: The Immigration Bill of 2002 is regarded to be a major step towards improvement of the legislature regarding the immigration policy (Brand, 2003:1).
However, the agenda setting and the implementation process of this Bill had certain issues which gave rise to certain results which will be mentioned in the following paragraph(s): Due to the act that there are a number of opinions and views from the parliamentary community regarding any policy issue (immigration in this case), it creates a drawback on the formulation of policy and results in formulation passage being a long and difficult process (Brand, 2003:1 ). In the year 2003 Act No. 13 of 2002 was suspended and amended by a new Act, [Act No. 19] of 2004.
When Policy was revised it was in early 2003 it was “because some of its regulations were challenged as unconstitutional” (Brand, 2003:1 ). This alone demonstrating Just some of the trouble the Bill encountered. Moreover, Within the Bill, communities and businesses are dad partially responsible for the presence of illegal immigrants in AS, with heavy penalties for offences such as employing an illegal foreigner or even for providing such a person with overnight accommodation. It has been suggested that this is encouraging further xenophobia within AS (Brand, 2003:1-2). There also appears to be a considerable lack of transparency in procedures within DAD. Decisions are not accounted for, and the decision-making process is shrouded in secrecy’ (Brand, 2003:2). And this creates a lot of uncertainty and suspicion of corruption because of the lack of transparency. An example of corruption can be seen In December 1999 when an immigration officer working at Cape Town International Airport was arrested for allegedly issuing visas for money. In the same month, a new director general of being found guilty of using his position to grant citizenship to members of his basketball club” (Brand, 2003:2).
A number of such incidents have occurred over times due to lack of transparency in the decision making process and these are clear indications of the Department itself requiring transformation (McKenna, 2000:2) Moreover, it appears that the put their own personal interest first instead of looking t the Nations interest by not liking the idea of employing highly qualified immigrants and ignoring possible economic gains in accepting highly qualified immigrants because of the fear of having Jobs taken away from them (McKenna, 2000:2).
POLICY RESULT In this passage one will see Just a few outcomes that have resulted from previous immigration policy. “Immigration policies in the apartheid era focused sharply on control, intentionally written to encourage immigration of skilled white people and keeping blacks out as indicated in previous texts” (McKenna, 2000:3 ). The policies ere very one sided as they were more favorable to white people than any other race. As a result, legislation on immigration issues was centralized towards the empowerment of white employers and working conditions of which they can treat their employees (black immigrants in this case).
These conditions were very crude as there was no equality in terms of working conditions amongst races since they were all made favorable to only white people (McKenna, 2000:3-4). Post Apartheid the NC government was now faced with a number of internal and external challenges resulting from previous the previous governments’ immigration policy options. While faced with the task of building a democratic state, the AS government was confronted with severe problems of poverty and lack of skills among the black population” (McKenna, 2000:4).
The previous government made sure to take an influx of less educated black labor so that they can have more control over the country (McKenna, 2000: 4). “These were a legacy of the apartheid era and partly the result of migration policy. In 1994, the Department of Home Affairs (DAD) announced that unskilled or semi-skilled immigrants would not be permitted to work in AS” (McKenna, 2000:5). This decision was taken to try to increase the number of skilled black people. (McKenna, 2000:5). The lack of a clear policy direction after 1994 can be attributed to a number of factors. This demonstrated an obvious need to completely rewrite SAC’S immigration policy; to bring the new policy direction in line with the principles of democracy and transparency’ (McKenna, 2000:6). There was need for transformation observing the number of issues, confusion and uncertainty previous governments have created. However, not forgetting corruption adopted in Post Apartheid government due to the lack of transparency.
There are a number of objectives and functions of immigration control which are goal explaining some of these goals set for a successful immigration policy outcome under Act [13 of 2002]: section 2(1). In the administration of this Act, the Department of Home Affairs is expected to persistently follow objectives which are set to make sure that policy results are achieved and they are as follows: Making sure that the process of issuing out permanent and temporary residence is smooth and easy to the people that deserve it.
It will enable a sense of efficiency in this previous mentioned process. Moreover, making sure that such resources are first allocated to South African citizens as a priority and also making sure that illegal Aliens are not provided with such resources (DAD, 2001-2004). Expediting foreign assets, holiday businesses and other investments which are dependent on international markets (DAD, 2001-2004).
Making sure that extraordinary/ skilled labor is attracted to the country and finding a number of ways to make them stay because they are good for South Africans economy (DAD, 2001-2004). Moreover, under subsection 2(2) to ensure that these exults are achieved the Department of Home Affairs is expected to scrutinize and make sure those that are responsible for the above mentioned duties/ obligations fulfill their responsibility according to what is expected of them, or else they should be ready to face some consequences. (DAD, 2001-2004).
POLICY OPTIONS In this passage one will see strategic alternatives set out specifically when dealing with immigration policy in labor relations. When discussing the mining industry (Lewis, 1996: 13) claims “Industry sources indicate that the Industry current needs could probably be met by local workers”. It looks as though the mining industry has been infiltrated by a large number of immigrants and this is because the bilateral mining treaties have given the mining sector privileges to hire semi skilled labor from outside the country (Lewis, 1996:13). The mining industry privileged access to foreign workers, as well as the clause in the Immigration Bill which potentially entrenches the previously discriminatory system” (Crush, 2000:3-4). “Although, one should not advocate a sudden cessation of immigrant labor many communities are dependent upon their involvement in the AS immigrant labor system.
Instead of eying access to the AS labor market by citizens of countries such as Lesotho and Macaque” (Lewis, 1996:13), the system should be absolutely with no strand of discrimination and inequality to anyone.