South Africa: Motsoaledi and Mashaba Drag a Joburg City Battle Over Verification of Foreign Nationals All the Way to Parliament

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, left; new DA Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille, centre; and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

When outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi met in Parliament on Tuesday to discuss foreign nationals within the city, it was clear from the reaction of MPs that these two public officials both agreed that undocumented migrants were a problem, but as one MP said it was 'frankly embarrassing that a minister and mayor can't meet to solve an issue'.

Outgoing Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba appealed to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs to intervene in his municipality's dispute with the Department of Home Affairs over the verification status of foreign nationals in the city.

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said they are willing to engage with the city. But MPs questioned why Parliament was needed when they could solve their issues through the South African Local Government Agency (SALGA).

Mashaba and some of his mayoral committee team, Ekurhuleni municipality mayor Mandible Masinga SALGA and the Department of Home Affairs, briefed a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committees on Home Affairs and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), over matters related to illegal immigration and xenophobia.

This meeting follows xenophobic and criminal outbreaks within the Gauteng region during September. Subsequently, the Nigerian government...

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