Maimane Criticizes SA’s Role in Zimbabwean Influx and Proposes Immigration Reforms

May 17, 2024
e93298c17f4c4cd89e555a53e248be01 18 | Report Focus News
Mmusi Maimane

Mmusi Maimane, leader of Build One South Africa, asserts that South Africa must take a stronger leadership role to address the consequences of its immigration laws. Speaking on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly podcast, Maimane blames the South African government for the influx of Zimbabweans into the country. He argues that South Africa allowed Zimbabwe to deteriorate, and if it weren’t for the ANC’s policy on the government of national unity when former president Robert Mugabe lost the elections, this influx wouldn’t have happened.

In 2007, economic turmoil and political violence forced Zimbabwean citizens to flee to South Africa. At that time, South Africa had been mediating Zimbabwe’s political conflict. Census figures from 2022 indicate that there were just over a million Zimbabweans in South Africa.

As the May 29 elections approach, the issue of undocumented migrants has become a central topic in the political discourse. Maimane proposes securing borders and legalizing foreigners, believing he can document all foreigners within two years. He sets specific criteria for those wanting to become citizens, including learning South African laws, speaking South African languages, and integrating into existing communities rather than forming separate ones.

During the interview Maimane covered more than just immigration. He discussed the idea of a grand coalition of opposition parties, identifying parties he can collaborate with, and offering solutions to crime. Maimane suggests merging localised policing, metro police, and private police to improve law enforcement. He also critiques the National Health Insurance, calling it a populist measure timed for the election.