Economic refugees abuse South Africa’s liberal asylum regime: Gigaba

An unintended consequence of the country’s liberal asylum regime has been that migrants who are not genuine refugees but are seeking economic opportunities have used it to attempt to regularise their stay in South Africa.

This comment was made by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba as he addressed the World Refugee Day in Johannesburg on Monday.

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“In terms of our asylum seeker regime‚ we are proud to be one of the few African countries which receives large volumes of asylum seekers‚ which does not have an encampment policy.”

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Gigaba said the result had been that economic migrants had used the asylum regime to regularise their stay in South Africa.

“The sheer volume of applications from these migrants has placed an enormous burden on the refugee status determination process‚ which has disadvantaged genuine asylum seekers by delaying their decisions‚ in the past taking years where they should take no more than six months‚” Gigaba said.