South African companies have been urged by President Ramaphosa not to employ undocumented foreign nationals to avoid tensions with citizens in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the call on Monday as he addressed residents in Koster in the North West during the official commemoration of Human Rights Day.
“We should not allow ourselves that those who come from other countries, see ourselves being at war with them because it is unSouth African. The challenges of unemployment that we are facing should never mean that we should go and wage war against those people from other countries because once we do that, we just immediately promote this spirit of xenophobia that now we hate them, that they must go. What we are saying is that yes, we want people to be properly documented in our country, we want employers to be very careful to hire people who are properly documented.”
– Cyril Ramaphosa
South Africa, with a population of 60 million, is home to about 2.9 million immigrants, according to official data.
In early March, residents of Alexandra north of Johannesburg embarked on the so-called Dudula campaign. The protest action led by the Dudula Movement targeted undocumented foreign nationals in the district. The South African leader at the time denounced the campaign, calling it contrary to South African values.