KZN House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza. File picture: African News Agency

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal amakhosi have called on the government to tighten the country’s borders in a bid to avoid an influx of illegal immigrants, which they said might have resulted in the recent conflict between foreign nationals and locals.

Addressing the media in Durban on Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza said traditional leaders were unhappy with the violence and discrimination committed against foreign nationals. 

“Having said this, we want to appeal to government to ensure that regulations for effective control of the influx of foreign nationals are adhered to within the confines of the law and our country’s sovereignty.

“Government clearly needs to tighten border control to ensure that those who do enter our country are in possession of the correct documents,” said Chiliza.

Chiliza said amakhosi felt that the failure to control borders and the willy-nilly influx of illegal immigrants was giving the country a banana republic status. 

“No one should obtain South African citizenship through the back door.

“We commit to protecting the foreign nationals who are within our borders legally and, in the same vein, encouraged government to engage with all states of foreign nationals and to invest in creating conditions that do not lead to people leaving their own countries to South Africa because of the situation in other countries,” said Chiliza. 

He said undocumented immigrants was a concern because of rising criminal activities in the country. 

Following a spate of attacks on foreign nationals in Gauteng and elsewhere in the country over different periods, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently assigned an envoy led by former Energy Affairs minister Jeff Radebe to various countries across the continent to discuss the violence in SA which led to South African businesses in various countries being attacked. 

Also Ramaphosa is expected to meet his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari in Pretoria on Thursday to discuss the attacks and looting of shops belonging to foreigners. 

However, Chiliza said amakhosi felt that Ramaphosa should integrate them into a solution finding mission. 

“This matter will never be solved by meeting of presidents, but this problem should be solved on the ground."

Political Bureau