Illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe cross the border near Beit Bridge. Picture:  SUNDAY TIMES/JAMES OATWAY
Illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe cross the border near Beit Bridge. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/JAMES OATWAY

The Department of Home Affairs has asked the City of Johannesburg for an extension in presenting its plan for illegal immigration in the city.

The city wants Home Affairs to take appropriate steps aimed at the identification and processing of illegal immigrants who reach the city; to ensure expeditious provision of legal documentation for immigrants who qualify for such status; to provide suitable centres or stations for the provision of immigration services; and to take the necessary steps to engage with other spheres of government.

The metro had given the department until Friday to respond to its demands in a lawyer’s letter, after which the city said it would take the department to court if it did not respond.

Mayoral spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka told Business Day on Friday that the department has asked for an extension until December 7.

"In the interest of inter-governmental relations, we are quite happy to extend the period on the proviso that they find a solution to the problem. Of course, [if] the response we get is not in line with that, and not satisfactory, we will consider legal action," Mfeka said.

Johannesbuerg mayor Herman Mashaba had earlier reached a settlement with the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) after it laid a complaint against him at the South African Human Rights Commission. The two stakeholders had agreed to take Home Affairs on together‚ as part of the settlement agreement in which it was stipulated that the ADF will join court proceedings driven by the city, as a friend of the court.

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