As reported by the ABC, a Senate meeting on Tuesday raised the contentious issue of giving South African landowners refugee status in Australia, amid fears of ongoing farm attacks and the effects of land expropriation without compensation.
How many South Africans have applied for a refugee visa in Australia?
The debate revealed that, so far, 213 applications had been received from South African farmers who were hoping for a fast-tracked humanitarian visa.
Malisa Golightly is a representative of the immigration and border protection department. She was answering questions posed to her by Senator Nick McKim. Her response indicated that no “special treatment” would be put in place for our farmers.
“They are being assessed according to the criteria in the law. No, there are no additional requirements from the Minister [for South African farmers],” Golightly said.
“In terms of processing, the normal arrangements apply where we assess the claims against whichever is the relevant criteria.”
SA farmers told to wait their turn
Golightly confirmed that those with land fearing the worst are more than welcome to apply for refugee status, but won’t receive prioritisation.
It marks something of a climb-down by Australia, after months of championing a quick influx of Saffas. The proposals were first suggested by Peter Dutton in March, as the ANC were given the go-ahead to pursue land expropriation plans.
The Home Affairs chief suggested that farmers in South Africa faced persecution, and needed help from a “civilised country” – these comments caused an uproar, resulting in South Africa requesting an official apology
Several MPs have also backed the idea, with one suggesting that up to 10,000 migrants should be given refugee status.
However, it now seems like there’ll be no queue-jumping for the SA farmers.
TOP IMAGE: South African expat farmer. (Via Pixabay)