Seven foreign nationals have been arrested in Alice in the Eastern Cape for failing to comply with immigration laws.
The arrests were effected during a joint operation between the police, home affairs and the Department of Safety and Liaison.
The police arrested the suspects after they failed to produce proper documents to be in the country.
Four shops were also closed for operating without licenses.
MEC for Safety Xolile Nqatha says illegal immigrants are a threat to national security.
“We are gravely concerned about it because it opens our country to risks because these people are undocumented, we can’t even trace them. There are no records in the country including fingerprints; if they were to commit a crime it’s gonna be difficult to get hold of them because they don’t have records and we want to ensure that all foreign nationals in our country comply.”
The community and legal businesses welcomed the initiative.
“The police is coming they asked for asylum papers (sic). I have the papers. I showed them and then they asked the license for business. I paid for that and I don’t have any problem.”
A resident says, “They sell us expired food and that’s a health hazard. Some are here illegally (here) and they must do the right thing and get the necessary documentation.”
The Provincial Police Commissioner, Nomthetheleli Mane, says they are planning a number of similar operations during this festive season.
“We are going to different hotspot areas like your Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay and continue with the operation. The main idea is to ensure that citizens are safe and people that come to the province for holidays and tourists are safe.”
The suspects are due in court within the next two days.