South Africa: Citizenship is a right, not a concession

Published: 3/Feb/2021
Source: Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

Thoughtleader: Comment and analysis from across the continent

By Gary Eisenberg

The removal of citizenship, and permanent residence, from South Africa’s statute books is the holy grail of a political conspiracy hatched somewhere in the deep state of the department of home affairs. Its cabal hides behind the façade of the 2017 white paper on international migration, which it authored.

The 2017 white paper contains the foundational architecture of a radical ideological transformation of the democratic state as we know it into a tribal fiefdom where constitutional norms and entrenched legislative processes, and legal practitioners, are nothing more than hindrances to the achievement of its objectives.

The white paper argues that South Africa’s existing approach to the granting of residency and naturalisation is mechanical and compliance-based rather than achieving strategic national goals, and concludes that there exists a “misconception” that immigrants have a constitutional right to progress towards permanent residency or citizenship status (naturalisation).

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, Naturalisation and Marriage
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2021