Velenkosini Hlabisa, the new leader of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), has advised government to deport unskilled foreign nationals.
Hlabisa shared his views in an interview with the Sowetan.
He said government should document and retain undocumented foreign nationals who have skills.
He said their skills could help South Africa’s economy to grow.
However, undocumented foreign nationals with no skills should first be documented and then sent back to their countries of origin, he added.
There is no reason why they should be here while we also have people who are unemployed with no skills like foreign nationals.Velenkosi Hlabisa
Hlabisa called for urgency in addressing this issue, saying it could reach a point where it’s “beyond control.”
Nevertheless, he said everything should be done in accordance with the law.
He also said his and IFP’s views should not be misconstrued as xenophobic.
Poverty and unemployment
Hlabisa’s comments follow recent xenophobic incidents in parts of Gauteng. Hundreds of foreign nationals have left South Africa as a result.
While there has been widespread condemnation of the incidents, there has also been an acknowledgement of the underlying issues.
President Cyril Ramaphosa cited poverty and unemployment among these issues during his memorial lecture for Robert Mugabe in Durban on 20 September.
Our own people face poverty, they face unemployment… and comrades, when we say we must not be intolerant, it does not mean that we care less about what our own citizens, South Africans, are going through.President Cyril Ramaphosa