President Jacob Zuma has overhauled his cabinet, moving Malusi Gigaba from his post as Minister of the Department for Home Affairs to Finance Minister. The new Minister of Home Affairs will be Hlengiwe Mkhize, who previously served as Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

Key Points:

  • Gigaba’s departure from the Department of Home Affairs came just as the Cabinet was set to consider comprehensive immigration reform proposals. The proposals were expected to include the introduction of a points-based system for work permits, a new skills and education levy on employers of foreign nationals and measures to root out exploitation of legal loopholes by economic migrants. Gigaba had also stressed the importance of establishing a Border Management Authority for better management of the country’s borders and points of entry.
  • The Cabinet reshuffling may delay the consideration of these proposals, which were set to be published in a government white paper in April and implemented by the end of the year. Little is known at this point about whether or how Mkhize will want to change the policies Gigaba had been advocating.

Background: Gigaba was appointed to lead the Department of Home Affairs in 2014. In recent months, he had pushed for immigration reforms and increased workplace inspections targeting businesses that employed undocumented immigrants. He will replace Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister after Zuma fired Gordhan and other cabinet members in a major personnel shake-up.

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to follow the proposed immigration reform in South Africa and whether it will change under new leadership in the Department of Home Affairs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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