Parliament's portfolio committee on Home Affairs has accused Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba of undermining efforts to grapple with illegal immigration by using the media to score points. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - Parliament's portfolio committee on Home Affairs has accused Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba of undermining efforts to grapple with illegal immigration by using the media to score points.

Mashaba has been vocal in accusing the Department of Home Affairs of failing to clamp down on illegal immigration, resulting in a strain on resources like public health services and housing which he says has fanned resentment among locals.

In a statement, committee chairman Bongani Bongo said the current immigration challenges facing South Africa and other countries could only be successfully dealt with through "cool heads".

He said following a recent spate of xenophobic violence in which the businesses of mainly African and Asian immigrants were looted and burned, the parliament committee had invited various stakeholders including the City of Johannesburg, the city of Ekurhuleni, the South African Local Government Association and the department of Home Affairs to a meeting on October 22 to discuss how to strengthen the immigration system.

Mashaba had publicised the planned meeting before formally indicating his availability for it to the committee, Bongo said, adding: "This calls into question the bona fides of the mayor in dealing with this challenge."

"The committee has on various occasions highlighted that the challenges facing the country in relation to immigration, require serious commitment from all the sectors of the society if we are to find workable solutions," he said.

"The meeting is convened in the spirit of working together and finding workable solutions together to the migration challenge, and not for political point-scoring."

African News Agency (ANA)