Nigel Home Affairs embraces xenophobia

I am disturbed by reports from residents in my constituency in the Far East Rand area that the Nigel Home Affairs office is refusing to process applications for Smart ID cards for legal naturalized South African citizens, on the basis that they were born in another country.

A picture of the notice placed at the counter in Nigel Home Affairs reads that “Only Citizens Born in RSA are Entitled to Apply for Smart ID Cards”. See photo here.

Many legal citizens, who have lived their whole lives in South Africa, have ID books and can vote and participate in public life but were born in another country.

Many of our citizens were born in exile during the struggle.

The approach taken by Nigel Home Affairs is not only callous and uncaring, but unconstitutional.

The South African Constitution protects the rights of all citizens and states that “The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.”

No government official has the right to deny legal citizens identity documents or identity cards.

I will personally be writing to the Minister of Home Affairs to demand an immediate explanation about this unacceptable state of affairs, and will demand an investigation into who in this office decided that legal, lawful citizens should be discriminated against on the basis of birth.

DA condemns the violent vilification of other Africans

It is to the ANC’s credit that they have not generally resorted to populism in response to the protestors that say, quote, “Foreigners are taking over our jobs”, end quote.
The issue is not that our people are against all those from foreign countries. South Africans are actually a very welcoming nation. But the amount of illegal immigrants is undeniably out of control, and I stress the word “illegal”.
People from abroad have added value to our country, and will continue to do so. But many of those who come here have done so legally, and those who have bent the rules (out of desperation) in coming here or staying here, and seek to regularise their status find it incredibly hard. The bureaucracy is an immovable obstacle and bribery is rife.
Madam Speaker,
We welcome legal immigrants that fill a skills gap in South Africa. But the problem here is that we have a government that has failed South Africans who need education, skills training or higher education. This, in itself is a huge cause of animosity towards foreign people. But with respect, this animosity is misdirected. It should be aimed towards the government and not towards immigrants, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding and are just trying to get by.
Thus, we in the DA condemn the violent vilification of people who happen to have been born elsewhere.
But the issue is that we have a government that is responsible to address:
• Porous borders
• Illegal immigrants with ill-intentions
• Illegal immigrants escaping intolerable conditions in their home countries
• Bad handling of immigrant applications, as regards work permits and permanent residence
• Ineptitude and corruption in deportation of illegals
• Education, skills development and higher education for South Africans
• Revising the operation of SADC cooperation to focus on economic growth across the region and not just be a collusion of leaders that creates more poverty in many of those countries and more economic refugees.
The way to end the xenophobia is to ensure the economy grows and the fairness is exercised in the administration of government and the rule of law against illegal behaviour.
I thank you.

Xenophobia Has No Place In Our Democratic Society

Rule of Law

The DA in Gauteng strongly condemns the recent wave of xenophobic violence in our province.

Xenophobia has no place in our democratic society.

It is deeply saddening that two of our Afropolitan cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane have seen attacks targeting foreigners.

We call on all South Africans to respect the rule of law and to refrain from targeting foreigners.

Our country’s history and the freedom we enjoy today was not won in isolation, many African nations played a pivotal role in supporting South Africa’s liberation.

The DA will put forward a motion in the Provincial Legislature on Xenophobia.



Media Enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743
Yaseen Carelse
Social Development Cluster Manager
072 721 8613
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Premier Makhura’s Response To SOPA Debate Welcomed

The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s response to the debate on his State of the Province Address, today.

We applaud the Premier for his stance against the violence, destruction and thuggery of the ANC members and affiliates who stormed the Johannesburg City Council yesterday.

We welcome the Premiers instruction that the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Paul Mashatile, will meet with the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, to dealing with the mayhem which occurred yesterday.

However, it appears as if the storming of the council by the ANC was deliberate and orchestrated.

Given the unrest around xenophobia and other violence in the province, the storming of the council sitting and the violent attacks on a government institution does not bode well for where South Africa is in its democracy.

The DA once again condemns the ANC for its actions in trying to halt service delivery in the province.

The Premier in his response failed to acknowledge that he was in fact well aware of the transferring of mental health patients long before the tragedy of Life Esidimeni 100+ occurred.

We, therefore, reiterate our call for the Premier to do the honourable thing and resign.



Media Enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743
Yaseen Carelse
Social Development Cluster Manager
072 721 8613

DA Debates Motion On Heritage Day

Speech by: Paul Willemburg MPL

“Are we succeeding in building a cohesive society?”

  • We won’t be successful in uniting our Nation, by continuously playing the race card.
  • We should have respect for religion, ethnicity and race, but we should also have respect for gender; respect for sexual orientation and respect for the disabled. It means tolerance and acceptance and the willingness to learn about the cultures and make a concerted effort to learn at least one of our indigenous languages.
  • Xenophobia still raises its ugly head in our country; as does homophobia. The murder of young lesbians in townships continues.
  • This new evil is rampant and prevalent in every sphere of government, and it’s called Corruption.

The full speech can be obtained here


Speech by: Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“In glimpsing backwards, we learn to move forwards”

  • Our country’s rich heritage and diversity is something every South African should be proud of. We were once divided, now united.
  • Reflection is the driver which ensures we move forward, but we are in charge of the GPS that will determine whether or not the direction we move in is favourable and inclusive to all South Africans.
  • It is important that we learn from each other in order to build a strong and united society. We must constantly open ourselves up to learning from each other.
  • If there are lessons, traditional medicines and other practices from other cultures which may improve the way we live and view the world we should take the opportunity to do so.

The full speech can be obtained here


Media enquiries:

Paul Willemburg MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

082 450 0815


Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

060 558 8299

[Image source]


Let us stamp out the scourge of racism together

Thank you Madam Speaker,

On Monday, The Premier honoured those who fought and sacrificed so much for freedom and democracy in our country. He said “I hereby make a clarion call that we must unite against racism and xenophobia. Let us fight against racism wherever and whenever it manifests itself”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

He said “those who call black people baboons are as wrong as those who threaten to drive white students out of university campuses”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

Racism and xenophobia is a reality. To try to justify it, in any of its repugnant forms, is despicable and unacceptable and must be exposed for what it.

I believe this!

The DA believes this!

This must include making assumptions about any group of people, be they in an organisation, be they of one demographic or another, be they of one specific religious group.

The Premier said on Monday, “Nothing is more offensive that acts of incompetence and corruption that feed the racial stereotype that all black people are either inherently incompetent or corrupt”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

Black people are no more predisposed to corruption and incompetence that any other racial group. Individuals are incompetent. Individuals are corrupt. This does not make it true for everyone else in his or her family, for everyone else who is in the same race group or for everyone else who shares his or her demographics.

Far too often, assuming the actions of one individual are indicative of the sentiments and abilities of an entire group is the forerunner to dividing our nation which so many have sacrificed so much to build. The Premier made such an error just a few days before the state of the province address when he tried to rally ANC supporters by accusing his opposition of being racists trying to mislead the young people in townships. Equally erroneously, he made the assumption that there were no racists in the ANC leadership.

You see Mr Premier, black people are right to be offended to be assumed incompetent and corrupt because of the actions of some individuals for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. Equally white people are right to be offended to be assumed racist due to the actions of others who committed horrendous acts of racism 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 10 years ago or even yesterday for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. Muslim people are right to be offended to be assumed violent due to the actions of others who committed acts of extreme violence for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. And there are so many examples beyond the obvious stated.

Political mobilisation on race, religion or creed, is a certain road to a divided nation and so contrary to the lessons which the Premier says are taught by those who shed their blood and fought for this country we now enjoy,   who he describes as “the moral compass and conscience of the nation”.

Mr Premier, acknowledging plagiarism, I too make a clarion call that “we unite against racism and xenophobia. Let us fight against racism wherever and whenever it manifests itself”.


South Africa’s past is one of a deeply divided society filled with suffering, injustice and a disregard for human rights.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a moment in history when, in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, the victims of apartheid came face to face with their persecutors.

The TRC represented a dialogue on a national scale for peace and reconciliation.

This dialogue between victim and oppressor took place in our public spaces. It aimed to move us from a place of vengeance to one of peace and forgiveness.

But where are we today?

We are destroying 100 year old statues and I fail to understand how this will help us.

Surely we must have greater battles to fight? And surely we must stare the mistakes of our past in the face so that we never repeat them?

Vandalising statues will not unburden us of our history. It only provides fuel to the fires of racial nationalists on our left and right. We saw this in Pretoria with Steve Hofmeyr and Julius Malema’s followers clashing.

But those of us who believe in a non-racial centre know that the only way we will change things in this country is if we unite around shared values.

And to do that we have to talk more as a nation.

We cannot erase our painful past, scars and all.

Instead of vandalising statues maybe it’s time we spoke about the real issues holding us back.

Anger directed at statues makes no sense. Look at our society today!

Our education and health systems remain fundamentally unequal.

A lack of opportunity has left an entire generation of young South Africans without hope.

The lights go off in our homes almost daily and we struggle more each month with higher food, electricity and transport costs.

Our streets are overrun with criminality and our young people are calling foreigners the enemy.

If we had the opportunities to succeed would we really make immigrants the enemy, when they have probably fled even worse circumstances?

This debate needs to focus on the causes behind the anger that people are experiencing.

We have to ask if people are angry at statues, and what they represent, or at the despair they are experiencing more than two decades into freedom.

Vandalising statues detracts from the conversation we should be having. Let’s have a conversation about every person getting the same opportunities to be the best they can be – irrespective of race or social standing.

President Nelson Mandela said: “Let us never be unmindful of the terrible past from which we come – using that memory not as a means to keep us shackled to the past in a negative manner, but rather as a joyous reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved.”

Our journey has been a hopeful one, a miracle, a shining example amongst the countries of the world.

As a 21 year old country we must not only learn from our painful history, we must take ownership of our future.

Let us build new statues that celebrate the unsung heroes. And let’s understand the ones we have already.

But most importantly let us now rise up like responsible citizens – let us together take up the challenges of building our country, let us build our Rainbow Nation, in which we all have equal opportunities and prospects of a shared future


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743


My friends and fellow South Africans

We have come together here at Constitution Hill this morning to remind our fellow South Africans, our brothers and sisters from Africa, as well as those from the rest of the world, that South Africa is built on respect for the human rights of others, and that each and every person in this country has the right to life.

We have gathered here today to express our deepest regret over events in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal over the past two weeks, where foreign nationals were brutally attacked and murdered right under our eyes, and the eyes of the world.

Just two days ago, our nation was shocked by front page photos of the senseless murder of Emanuel Sithole – a Mozambican national who came to South Africa in search of a better life.

Since 1994 South Africa has been known as the country of human rights. We became the beacon of hope as the world watched us reconcile our people and build a better future.

We became a place of new beginnings, a refuge from war and persecution – a safe haven for those who have been displaced by famine and war.

Under the late president Nelson Mandela our nation embarked on a historical mission of a united, transformed South Africa, where everybody who lives in it enjoys freedom and prosperity.

We built a nation which prided itself on our respect for our common humanity, and we welcomed our brothers and sisters from Africa with open arms, and shared those ideals with them.

But yet, as we South Africans lived for and spoke about transformation, we failed to transform our society.

Real transformation is about more people getting out of poverty and having the opportunity to live out their individual freedoms.

Real transformation is about giving people living in our townships to find jobs, to start up their own businesses, and to improve their quality of life.

Sadly, that has not happened.

Sadly, the majority of our country’s people are living in hopeless despair, because our townships have not entered the mainstream economy, and life has not become better.

And while our communities view others and their perceived success with suspicion, the question we have to ask is why our townships are still marginalised, and why small businesses have not been developed.

We have to ask why our government has done so little to promote small business development, why there is so much red tape, and why it continues to support job-killing programmes such as e-tolls.

We have to ask what happened to the Township Revitalisation Plan in Gauteng and the R160 million promised for it late last year.

Where are the Economic Incubators and Development Hubs that were supposed to be the game-changers in job creation?

Why has government neglected to support and maintain Gauteng’s Township Industrial Parks, which are run down, lack basic infrastructure, security and cleansing services, and are severely over-crowded?

We have to ask why the only ones who seem to get ahead are those with known political ties, while the rest of us struggle to survive.

President Jacob Zuma announced that government would set aside more than R1 billion to create 100 black industrialists in the manufacturing sector. The questions we have to ask are who those 100 individuals would be, what their ties to the ANC are, and how many real jobs they would create.

Just imagine how many small businesses could have been financed with that R1 billion, and how many jobs that would have created.

My friends,

In the preamble of our Constitution it says that: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”.

It is our Constitutional duty to stand up and commit ourselves to building a South African society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights for everyone – irrespective of where they are from.

Starting here, today, in front of the building where the custodians of our Constitution go about their business, we have to commit to spreading this message of unity in diversity to our fellow countrymen.

We have to remind each and every South African that we do not tolerate xenophobia, we do not condone the unprecedented violation of people’s fundamental human rights, and we do not discriminate against others because of where they are from.

It begins with me and you, and our declaration that we will not be part of these barbaric acts.

And we must spread this message to our wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, makwapheni, neighbours and brothers not to engage in xenophobic attacks.

We cannot be held ransom by people who commit acts of xenophobia. Let’s isolate these criminals who are doing these acts in our name.

We call on the SAPS Crime Intelligence and State Security services to leave no stone unturned to identify those who are spreading messages of hate in our communities, and to arrest and prosecute them.

We must all do our parts to assist the police in arresting the perpetrators of xenophobic attacks.

We must commit today to addressing instead the economic conditions that fuel the anger in our communities, and to pursue a society based on greater opportunity for all, backed by a capable state.

We are one people, brothers and sisters, all from one continent.

Thank you

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Alex Clinic beefs up security to protect foreign doctors

SecurityJack Bloom DA Constituency Head - Johannesburg East

The Alexandra Clinic has beefed up security to protect its foreign doctors who stayed away over the weekend because of the xenophobic violence, which is why there was no doctor on duty to treat Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole when he was brought there after being attacked on Saturday morning.

I found this out when I visited the clinic yesterday to assess how patients are treated.

Foreign Doctors

The clinic has seven full-time doctors and seven sessional doctors, of whom eight are foreign, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It adds to the tragedy that Sithole did not receive prompt treatment that could possibly have saved his life because a foreign doctor was fearful to be at the clinic where he was first taken.

Many foreign doctors do good work treating South Africans in our hospitals and clinics, but they are also vulnerable to xenophobic violence.

Gauteng Health Department and Alexandra Health Clinic

Alexandra Clinic was founded in 1929 as a charitable enterprise, and for many years was reliant on large corporate donors.

They have increasingly relied on a subsidy from the Gauteng Health Department, and were taken over this month by the department which funds them about R53 million this year, and about R20 million for medicines.

I hope that the department increases their staff and facilities as the clinic is struggling to deal with more than 20 000 patients a month. It is estimated that 507 571 people live in the clinic’s catchment area.

It is really sad that the clinic has to spend extra money on security to keep its staff safe from xenophobic violence.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Constituency Head – Johannesburg East

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Delays in Township Economic Development Fan the Flames of Xenophobia

Gauteng Provincial Government

The Gauteng Provincial Government’s slow response to the violent and inhumane acts of xenophobia that swept across the province over the past week is an indictment on Premier David Makhura and his executive.

While thousands of foreign nationals live in fear for their lives – and horrific scenes of murder have played out on the province’s streets, the provincial government has proven to be less than caring for the well-being of all residents in Gauteng.


Xenophobia, and the deplorable acts which have followed from this most recent outbreak, is symptomatic of a government that has failed to live up to the needs of people.

High rates of unemployment, slow economic growth and a limp-wristed approach to policy implementation resulted in people looking for easy targets, in the form of foreign nationals, to express their discontent.

History has shown us that in tough economic times, people lash out and find scapegoats for the short-comings of inherently flawed systems.

Premier Makhura’s Township Revitalisation Plan

The question here is what happened to Premier Makhura’s noble plans for township economic development?

All seems to have gone quiet around the Township Revitalisation Plan. Similarly, all is mum on the roll out of Economic Incubators and Development Hubs touted as future game-changers in job creation.

The recent spate of xenophobia has not only seen the unnecessary loss of life that cast a shadow of shame across Gauteng and South Africa as a whole, but shows how the premier has failed the people of Gauteng.

Since January xenophobic tensions have been simmering in Gauteng’s townships, and the premier and the provincial government should have stepped in to defuse the situation through education and sensitisation programmes, as well as to physically get government economic interventions under way.

Now, more than ever, are the citizens of this province crying out for government actions that speak louder than words, and Premier Makhura must be seen to be taking the lead – and not wait for national government to make the first move.


Media enquiries

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]