White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees: White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Protection: Towards A Complete Overhaul of the Migration System in SA

Published: 17/Apr/2024
Source: South Africa Department of Home Affairs

Government Gazette Vol. 706 No. 50530, 17 April 2024

STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS ON THE WHITE PAPER ON CITIZENSHIP, IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION: TOWARDS A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE MIGRATION SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA

“The ANC-led government must completely overhaul the Citizenship Act, Refugees Act and Immigration Act to meet the new challenges facing South Africa” [Paragraph 9.1.7 of the Resolution of the 55th Conference of the African National Congress held on 16-20 December 2022 and 5 January 2023]

1. On 10 November 2023, the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) published in the Government Gazette no 49690, the White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Protection: Towards A Complete Overhaul of the Migration System in South Africa for public comments.

2. The date for submission of comments was extended to 31 January 2024 by way of notice published in the Government notice no 4240, 8 January 2024.

3. The responses have been overwhelming. Individuals (citizens, asylum seekers and refugees), public interest groups, companies, national and local governments departments, Premiers, Research Institutes, political parties, International Commission of Jurists, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”), International Organization for Migration (“IOM”), United Nations Children’s Fund (“UNICEF”) and many others made their voices heard.

4.​ The DHA team and the Minister conducted public hearings in all the nine provinces. They also conducted several radio and television interviews on the White Paper with participation by members of the public. The outcome of the engagements and public comments is that the policy positions adopted in the White Paper enjoy wide support. Only a handful public interest groups are opposed to selected policy positions such as, withdrawal from the 1951 Refugee Convention, the 1967 Protocol and re-acceding with reservations, proposed repeal of section 4 (3) of the South African Citizenship Act, including rights of children and the first safe country principle.

5.​ The DHA has carefully and duly considered all the oral and written submissions. This final White Paper is a product of the said robust engagements. The list of organizations and the number of individuals who made contributions is contained in the White Paper.

6.​ Cabinet approved the final White Paper on Wednesday, 10 April 2024.

7.​ I intend to introduce a complimentary and integrated bill in Parliament (based on the final White Paper) without any further delay.

Download: https://www.dha.gov.za/images/gazettes/ANNEXURE_A_Gazette-50530.pdf

Explanatory memorandum: https://www.dha.gov.za/images/ANNEXURE_B_Explanatory_memo.docx

Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration, Naturalisation and Marriage, ID Documents and Passports, Nationality and Refugees
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2024