Sat, 23 May 2015 – EWN
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says he will not go back on a decision to implement new visa requirements next week.
Concerns have been raised about a requirement that demands children carry unabridged certificate when they travel to and from South Africa.
Parents say this will delay their travels and that the department is generally slow to issue unabridged certificates.
Home Affairs has already begun the process by converting over half a million abridged birth certificates.
Responding to how this may impact tourism, Gigaba says his priority is the safety of children.
“South Africa should not accept that they are children who arrive in this country without being properly identified if they are travelling with anyone but their parents. There is a lot of crime and South Africa should never relent in protecting children.”
Gigaba defends ‘Operation Fiela’
The minister told Eyewitness News last week that “Operation Fiela” is about the state re-organising life in areas that are ridden with crime and police have acted on information around arms caches and drug dens.
The government came under fire for the operation with some saying it compares foreigners to “rubbish”.
Illegal immigrants were arrested during raids by the police service, South African National Defence Force and officials from the Department of Home Affairs in the Johannesburg CBD.
The raids also included the Central Methodist Church and came under sharp criticism from non-government organisation Right2Know, which has described the raids as state “co-ordinated xenophobia”.
The raids form part “Operation Fiela” which government said is aimed at ridding the country of illegal guns, drugs and prostitution rings.
Gigaba argued that “Operation Fiela” will also target hijacked buildings.
So far, more than 700 people have been arrested during various raids, and this has drawn criticism from a number of NGOs.