Media release

Government condemns unlawful housing of foreign nationals by Cato Ridge farmer

17 November 2015

17 November 2015

Government strongly condemns the decision of a Cato Ridge farmer near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal who has turned his dwelling into a refugee camp for about hundreds of foreign nationals without rezoning it into a residential area.

As much as government welcomes good deeds by communities to assist displaced communities, it is important for those assisting not to transgress the laws and municipal by-laws as it is the case with the farmer in Mkhambathini Local Municipality.

Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams said: “Through Operation Fiela, we have managed to reintegrate displaced foreign nationals back to communities and we welcome any assistance to accommodate people. However, we cannot allow people to break the law in the process.

“This is a contravention of the municipal by-laws as the farm is primarily for agricultural purposes and therefore, not a residential area,” Williams said.

Government is committed to ensuring peaceful co-existence between South African citizens and foreign nationals. This is clearly demonstrated by the government interventions that were made during and after the attacks on foreign nationals that included continuous dialogues with faith-based leaders, community organisations, business, taxi organisations and groups representing foreign nationals and other stakeholders.

“Any unlawful act and contravening the municipal by-laws will not be tolerated and law will take its cause. We expect every law abiding citizen to adhere to the country’s laws. It cannot be correct that the farmer can by force convert an agricultural area into a residential area.”

“Government through the Mkhambathini Local Municipality will ensure that the farmer adheres to the municipal by-laws or face the might of the law,” Williams said.

Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by Government Communication and Information System

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