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Parly Committee welcomes New Refugee Regulations

Parliament South Africa welcomes the recently gazetted Refugee Amendment Act Regulations. Parliament South Africa Parliament South Africa welcomes the recently gazetted Refugee Amendment Act Regulations.
New regulations to form part of the broader efforts that are aimed at strengthening the immigration system
 
January 10, 2020
 
Staff reporter

Parliament, South Africa:The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Adv Bongani Bongo, welcomes the recently gazetted Refugee Amendment Act Regulations as they will deal effectively with the challenges that the previous regulations were unable to deal with.

“We believe that the regulations form part of the broader efforts that are aimed at strengthening the immigration system and ensure that the system is not manipulated for nefarious reasons. We call on the department to properly train its employees on the new regulations and ensure that they are adequately and fully implemented,” Adv Bongo said.

Adv Bongo has criticised some of the pessimists or prophets of doom who have been critical about the new regulations. “We have noted the unconstructive criticism on these regulations with concern as the critics don’t provide alternative and viable options. For example, the regulations have been criticised despite the fact that they have broadened the scope where a permit can be withdrawn on the basis of fraud. We believe that these regulations will strengthen the system and must be welcomed instead of being criticised,” Adv Bongo emphasised.

According to Adv Bongo, the regulations must achieve three basic responsibilities, to ensure the sovereignty and security of the host country, to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and uphold international obligations that South Africa is a signatory to. He added: “We believe very strongly as the committee that these regulations will certainly deter the tide of corruption and fraud in the system, and maintain on a sustainable basis the balance between the three responsibilities.”

Regarding the entry into the country, Adv Bongo said, the prescribed requirements will strengthen the application process, especially the requirements such as, the applicant must present a valid asylum transit visa from the country through which they travelled at the port of entry, must provide a valid identification and submit the biometric data. These requirements will ensure that only genuine asylum seekers and refugees apply and the system will be protected from abuse.

The committee will, in the next term, create time to engage the Department of Home Affairs on the new regulations and how their implementation has gone since January 1, 2020.
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