After hosting a delegation from the Department of Home Affairs, the City of Johannesburg‘s Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba said progress is being made to deal with the long-standing issue of illegal immigration.
Mashaba said it was a very successful and productive engagement.
“It provided the City with an opportunity to air its grievances with the manner in which the department has historically engaged the City on the issue of illegal immigration,” he said.
“It also provided us with an opportunity to commit to working with one another in the best interests of our resident and inter-governmental relations as espoused in the Constitution.”
“Both the department and the City agree that the challenge of illegal immigration in Johannesburg has reached crisis level,” the mayor said. To address this challenge the City will adopt a holistic approach, at different levels of government and in partnership with civil society.
Within the city, illegal immigration compounds serious challenges in the provision of basic services to residents. Mashaba said the City is faced with a housing backlog of an estimated 300 000 units and there are an estimated 190 informal settlements across the city, and this number is increasing. And, above this, one in three residents in Joburg is unemployed.
“As a City, we are expected to proactively plan and budget for the provision of basic services to all our residents. How are we supposed to effectively plan and budget, when we do not know who is even in our city?”