November 28 2014 at 10:38am
By Warda Meyer – Cape Argus
Cape Town – Talks of recession and claims of convicted fraudsters finding safe havens while rubbing shoulders with political parties, had members of the provincial legislature hot under the collar during a debate on the adoption of a report on immigration regulations.
Tabling the report on the impact on the province of the new visa regulations, DA Western Cape spokeswoman on Economic Opportunities and Tourism, Beverley Schäfer, recapped developments since the regulations were published in 2011.
Schäfer said 43 written and verbal submissions were received representing all the major bodies and associations affected by the regulations.
She added that the report provided conclusive findings on the impact of the regulations, the issue around capacity constraints which further exacerbated the problem, the question around human rights abuse, and litigation regarding pupils being kept out of schools and classified as undesirable.
“The report shows that the immigration regulations will have a detrimental effect on the economy of the Western Cape and South Africa in general. It is evident that significant job losses will occur across all sectors, with the possibility that some sectors would actually come to standstill. As a result, a number of litigation cases have already been launched against the Department of Home Affairs,” she said.
The EFF’s Nazier Paulsen said: “We are in agreement with the harsh measures imposed on visitors who overstay their welcome. We are a sovereign state and we should demand the respect we deserve.”
Using convicted German fraudster Jurgen Harksen as an example, Paulsen caused a stir when he recapped Harksen’s nine-year run from the law and his alleged links to the DA.
“You should know him, he funded your party. You exist because he gave you money for your organisation.
“A man was on the run from the law in Germany and he took refuge in South Africa and managed to dodge any regulations and set up a very good regulation with the DA,” Paulsen said before being stopped by the deputy Speaker, Piet Pistorius.
Pointing a finger at the DA, Opposition leader Marius Fransman said the party attempted to use the legislature to pull the diplomatic community based in SA into a bunfight over the issue.