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30. Jan. 2023 Groundup

Children born abroad with one South African parent have right to citizenship, ConCourt


• The Constitutional Court finalised a seven-year legal battle fought by Lawyers for Human Rights on behalf of four people born to SA parents outside the country.
• The case centred on the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2010 and how it applied to people born outside of South Africa before January 2013.
• Justice Sisi Khampepe slammed the Department of Home Affairs, describing its conduct in the matter as `brazenly incompetent`.
Children born in other countries are entitled to South African citizenship as long as one parent is South African, the Constitutional Court has ruled.

A seven-year legal battle is finally over and the court has ruled that the Department of Home Affairs must immediately recognise as citizens Yamika Chisuse, born in 1989 in Malawi; Martin Ambrose, born in 1970 in Zimbabwe; Amanda Tilma, born in 1969 in Zimbabwe; and Emma Dullart, born in 2006 in Accra.
The ruling by the court has cleared up any confusion about the country`s citizenship by descent laws, which were interpreted by Home Affairs to mean that nobody born in other countries after 2013 qualified for citizenship, irrespective of whether their parents were South Africans, GroundUp reported.
Represented by Lawyers for Human Rights, the applicants started negotiations with the department in 2013 and first went to court in 2016.
The department failed to file opposing papers and it was finally set down to be heard in May 2019.
The department asked for a further postponement, but this was refused and the matter was heard unopposed.
The applicants claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2010 (which came into effect in 2013) was not being applied retrospectively, resulting in `wholesale deprivation of citizenship rights overnight`.
They said the provisions of the Act did not provide for anyone born outside of South Africa to a South African parent before January 2013 to obtain citizenship.
`Risks of statelessness`
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in their favour, declaring sections of the act unconstitutional.
But the Constitutional Court has now declined to ratify this, saying that the act was misinterpreted.
In a unanimous ruling handed down this week, Judge Sisi Khampepe said the issue surrounded the wording in the act which stated `any person who is born`.
This was interpreted to mean only those born after 2013.
The judge said the only reasonable and constitutional compliant construction of the text was that it included all persons, born yesterday, today and tomorrow.
`An interpretation that favours a prospective-only operation in this instance effectively abolishes existing rights.
`Moreover, a finding that the section only applies prospectively would have the effect of excluding not only the vast majority of those who had acquired citizenship by descent, but also those who, like the applicants in this matter, are excluded from the ambit of the section merely by the date of their birth,` said Khampepe.
Khampepe said:
This interpretation would also expose some individuals to the risks of statelessness and it would be contrary to the spirit and purpose of the legislation, which seeks to widen the pathways to South African citizenship rather than narrow them.
`Brazenly incompetent`
The judge labelled the department`s conduct `brazenly incompetent`. While it had belatedly, before the Constitutional Court, conceded to an interpretation of the act that would recognise the applicants as citizens, it had continued to oppose the application on a `factual basis`.
`The ordinary rule is that costs follow the results and the applicants have been unsuccessful in confirming the order of invalidity.
`But clearly this case encompassed more than that �` it was about vindicating the citizenship rights of the applicants who have been dragged from the proverbial pillar to post by the government`s intransigence, indifference and inefficiency.
`The applicants have been successful in vindicating these rights and are entitled to their costs for the significant and prolonged litigation.
`The documents must be issued as soon as possible. They have already suffered greatly by the dilatory conduct of the government and there is no reason why they should continue to be at their mercy.`
Liesl Muller of Lawyers for Human Rights said the case was about one simple thing �` dignity.
`The application was opposed to the bitter end, this despite two of the applicants providing DNA evidence of their link to a South African parent and two others having government-issued proof of their links.
`Our clients expressed overwhelming relief … It may have been a seven-year legal battle; for them it has been a life-long struggle.`
www.samigration.com



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23. Feb. 2024 The Citizen

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23. Feb. 2024 News24

Motsoaledi`s bid to appeal Zimbabwean permits ruling dismissed in court accreditation

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22. Feb. 2024 The Citizen

Motsoaledi Calls for Action Against Those Who Knowingly Employ Illegal Foreigners

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14. Feb. 2024 iol

Gauteng High Court Rules in Favor of Motsoaledi on Detention of Illegal Immigrants

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12. Feb. 2024 City Press

Weak rand a tourist magnet, as their dollars and pounds go much further than back home

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12. Feb. 2024 The Conversation

SA must clean up the mess Motsoaledi has made at home affairs

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10. Feb. 2024 Businesstech

New laws for remote worker and critical skill visas in South Africa

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10. Feb. 2024 IOL

Home Affairs is in need of a major clean-up

Legal grievances against the South African Department of Home Affairs, including contempt of court cases, are depressingly common. Too frequently the minister has to apologise to a court, or to ask for more time on behalf of the department. Most of the court cases involve the operations of the department regarding visas and permits for foreign visitors, immigrants and prospective refugees. Just a few months ago, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in legal papers: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere apology to the Chief Justice, all judges of the high court and Constitutional Court, the President of South Africa, Minister of Finance, Lawyers for Human Rights and its legal representatives and the people of South Africa for the mess created by officials of the Department of Home Affairs V.5194

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10. Feb. 2024 Businesstech

Canada extends ban on foreigners buying property what it means for South African emigrants

Canada has extended its ban on foreigners buying residential property, but South Africans living in the North American country should not worry. In 2022, the Canadian government passed the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by the Non-Canadians Act to stop foreign investors from buying residential property in Canada. This was intended to ensure that Canadian citizens were not priced out of the housing market. Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said that the government now intends to extend the ban by an additional two years. The ban on foreign ownership of Canadian housing will thus be extended from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2027. V.5195

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10. Feb. 2024 The South African

How to expedite a South African smart ID card application in 2024

Forget the ‘green mamba’ and say ‘howzit’ to expediting your South African smart ID card application online. A South African smart ID card application in 2024 has never been easier since the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) embraced digital technologies. If you need to expedite a smart ID card application, here’s what you need to do before wandering into a DHA branch and wasting everyone’s time. There are plenty of reasons you’ll want to speed up a smart ID card application. You may just be moeg of the ‘green mamba’ or perhaps your ID has been stolen or cloned and you need a new one. Whatever the case may be, you can speed up the smart ID card application process by going online first. Here’s what to do and how much it costs V.5196

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08. Feb. 2024 The Guardian

UK care firm charged workers from Africa thousands more than cost of visa

Zimbabweans say they paid large sums to Gloriavd Health Care but got far less work than expected and were squalidly housed A care company serving NHS patients has been charging migrant workers from Africa thousands of pounds to work in the UK when the cost of a visa is only a few hundred pounds, the Guardian has learned. Care workers from Zimbabwe were told to pay the sums to Gloriavd Health Care Ltd in return for arranging social care jobs in and around Leeds and Bath. They also claimed they were given far less paid work than they had been led to expect, were housed in overcrowded rooms and faced a threat that their conduct could be reported to the Home Office, leading them to fear deportation if they complained. One woman alleged she sold her home in rural South Africa to pay £6,500 in fees to the company operated by Gloria Van Dunem only to find she and her colleagues had so little work they had to rely on food banks. V.5192

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04. Feb. 2024 Daily Investor

Bank of America expects South Africa’s economic growth to triple in 2024

Bank of America expects South Africa’s economic growth to triple to 1.5% in 2024 from a paltry 0.5% in 2023. Sub-Saharan Africa economist at Bank of America, Tatonga Rusike, told CNBC Africa that this growth rate is nothing special and not good enough for the country. Rusike said 2024 will be a very tumultuous year for South Africa, with national elections, interest cuts expected in the second half, and deteriorating public finances. V.5190

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04. Feb. 2024

Foreigners are flooding to South Africa ` but we’re still playing catch-up

Tourist arrivals in South Africa have increased in recent years, but they are still far off pre-pandemic levels. According to Stats SA, in December 2023, 3.5 million travellers were recorded at South African ports of entry/exit, beating the 2.9 million seen in December 2022. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said that there were an estimated 1.3 billion international tourist arrivals in 2023, which is 88% of pre-pandemic levels. With worldwide tourism rebounding, South Africa is experiencing a similar trend. In 2021, the number of international tourist arrivals was 77.9% lower than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, dropping from 10.23 million tourists in 2019 to 2.26 million in 2021. In 2022, this figure improved to approximately 5.70 million ` 44.3% lower than pre-pandemic levels. In 2023, tourist numbers stood at 8.48 million tourists in 2023 ` 17.1% below the pre-pandemic levels. V.5191

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02. Feb. 2024 The Street

A country just went visa-free for visitors with any passport

The president said that `it shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa.` As anyone who has traveled internationally will know, the passport one has will make it significantly easier or more difficult to visit certain countries. In 2023, Japan was taken over by Singapore for the status of the most powerful passport in the world. Citizens of the city-state can visit 192 of the world`s 227 countries and travel destinations without a visa while Germany, Italy and Spain tied for second place. The U.S., which was in first place in 2014, is curre. V.5156

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02. Feb. 2024 Le Monde

South Korea, the world`s lowest fertility rate sinks lower and lower

Researcher Sébastien Lechevalier reports on how the causes of declining fertility among Korean women vary from generation to generation. Falling birth rates affect most of the developed countries of East Asia and Europe, resulting in accelerated aging of the population. However, the scale of the phenomenon is greatest in South Korea. In 2021, the country`s total fertility rate (total amount of children per woman of childbearing age) was 0.81, compared with 1.16 in China, 1.19 in Spain, 1.25 in Italy, 1.3 in Japan, 1.58 in Germany and 1.8 in France. Most importantly, it`s a long-term situation: The fertility rate has been below 1.3 for two decades V.5189

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28. Jan. 2024 Businesstech

Big win for thousands of South Africans who lost their citizenship ` including those who didn’t even know

A law that strips South Africans of their citizenship is expected to be removed by the South African government. As per section 6(1) of the Citizenship Act, South Africans automatically lose their citizenship if they voluntarily obtain citizenship with another country. This is a continuation of an apartheid-era law. This law exists despite the Constitution stating that no South African may be stripped of their South African citizenship. Removing the right to citizenship also violates other rights enshrined in the Constitution, including the right to vote, the right to reside in South Africa, the right to stand for public office and the right to choose any occupation. Those who would like to retain their South African citizenship under the standing laws would need to apply to the Minster of Home Affairs to do so. V.5184

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28. Jan. 2024 Businesstech

Home Affairs is showing tourists in South Africa the door

Due to the backlog and long turnaround time for visas processed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), some tourists have been advised to leave the country by the end of February. The DHA issued a directive on 21 December 2023 that will require tourists who wish to extend their stay in South Africa to leave the country by 29 February 2024. According the Democratic Alliance, this will do incredible damage to the country’s tourism industry, as any visitors who wished to extend their stay over a busy holiday season would now be denied ` all because of the department’s backlog. “Tourists, when entering South Africa, can be issued with a 90-day visa and subsequently apply for a 90-day extension if they wish to stay longer. “South Africa stands to lose millions in lost revenue by not allowing them to extend their visas during the busiest season,” said DA MP Angel Khanyile. V.5185

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Articles

23. Feb. 2024 SABC news

SCA dismisses Motsoaledi’s bid to appeal ZEP ruling

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has suffered a blow in his bid to appeal the judgment of the High Court Pretoria. The court had invalidated his December 2021 decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) and an interim interdict, which stopped government from detaining or deporting any holder of the permit. Motsoaledi turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein in November last year to appeal the judgments, which he argued had set a dangerous precedent. V.5203

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