Key Points:

  • The passing of the new Immigration Act should have been greeted with relief, but the response from South Africans concerned with economic growth has been dismay and confusion.
  • The Act imposes onerous responsibilities on the department of home affairs by requiring it to consult extensively with the departments of labour and trade and industry in an elaborate set of quota and skills certification requirements.
  • Skilled immigrants are not a burden that needs to be regulated, but an advantage as they create jobs, boost productivity and help train locals.
  • CDE recommends that the guiding principle of the legislation should be to allow entry to any person whose skills, aptitude and experience suggest that he or she will be able to earn a living in the private sector, pay taxes and consume goods and services.
  • What does our new legislation on immigration add up to? Everyone agrees that it will not facilitate the unconstrained entry of skills that our economy urgently requires, but is it a step in the right direction? Or is it a “mess”, as an editorial in Business Day, a newspaper known for its scrupulously even-handed editorials, summed up the general impression of the long awaited new legislation?

Press release: Immigration act misses mark on skilled labour

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