Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says police can do spot checks on foreign nationals to ascertain whether they are permitted to be in the country. Motsoaledi says this will be done within the framework of the law.
The Minister was briefing the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee on stateless people and the backlog in permit appeals for asylum seekers and refugees.
The Minister says the four refugee centres have been reopened after a two-year closure due to COVID-19. These are in Durban, Pretoria, Gqeberha and Musina. The Cape Town refugee office will be reopened next week Friday.
It also emerged that there’s a backlog in refugee and asylum seeker permit appeals of over 133 000.
The Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa says it has allocated over R140 million for the next four years to clear the backlog. The Minister has recently been under fire for his hard stance on refugees and asylum seekers.
“Every police have a right to do spot checks and check documents against the national population register and it is unfortunate someone has to be arrested because we have to do a manual check,” says Motsoaledi.