The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) briefed the Committee on capacity building and the audit outcomes of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Government Printing Works (GPW) for financial year 2018/19.
AGSA stated that the audit outcomes for the GPW was still outstanding, as the audit of the entity’s cost of sales was still under way. The DHA and IEC’s audit outcomes had been unqualified with findings. Both had disregarded requirements for compliance with legislation. The top four non-compliance areas had been the management of procurement and contracts, the quality of financial statements, prevention of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and revenue management.
Revenue management was an area of concern. There was inability by the DHA to collect money owed timeously, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure had increased from R108 000 to R151 000 over the past two years. Irregular expenditure had amounted to R122 million in 2017/18, and R161 million last year. The most common findings on supply chain management (SCM) were uncompetitive and unfair procurement processes, as well as contracts that were extended or modified without the approval of a properly delegated official. The IEC had awarded a R164 million contract to a bidder that did not comply with the evaluation/adjudication criteria that were stipulated in the original invitation for bidding. With regard to the DHA, there were allegations of financial fraud, SCM misconduct and lack of consequences.
Members expressed unhappiness that, over past three years, there had been no changes in the financial performance of the DHA and its entities, and bemoaned the absence of consequence management or accountability. They were also unhappy that the AGSA had no teeth to turn things around.
The DHA reported a 73% achievement rate for the year under review. This was a regression of 13% compared with 2017/18 financial year. The poor performance in part reflected its dependence on third parties and the enactment of enabling legislation. In 2018/19, the unqualified audit was due to uncertainty related to the future outcome of litigation, impairment of accrued departmental revenue, and irregular expenditure.
The IEC reported that its audit outcome was unqualified, with material adjustments, and that 72% of strategic outcomes towards its goals had been achieved. The annual financial statements had been prepared in accordance with relevant accounting standards. Total revenue as at 31 March 2019 was just over R2 billion, while expenditure amounted to R1.553 billion. Its financial health was sound and its financial risk had been maintained at an acceptable level. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred during the year amounted to R35 015, of which R28 800 was related to a payment to the incorrect service provider. This amount was in the process of being recovered. Irregular expenditure had amounted to R101 million.
Members expressed concern about a perception that the IEC’s reputation was decreasing, and that people no longer had trust in it. If people had no confidence in the IEC, democracy would collapse, not only in South Africa, but in Africa. They sought clarity on what would happen with the IEC’s main office once the lease agreement came to an end. They also asked about the registration of special votes and allegations of double voting during the last elections.
With regard to the DHA, they suggested its overall performance might have been related to its the inability to fill key positions, and agreed that another factor would have been unreliable State Information Technology Agency (SITA) network connectivity. There were also concerns over BOSASA and the related liquidation, which had had a severe impact on the Lindela facility. They supported the Minister’s position that the DHA and its entities should build their own offices without calling on the Department of Public Works (DPW) to do so.
The Chairperson said the Government Printing Works (GPW) would not be present to brief the Committee. They had written to the Speaker asking to present their brief on a later date.
Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA): briefing
Mr Fhumulani Rabanda, Deputy Business Executive (BE), AGSA, said the auditees within the portfolio included the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Government Printing Works (GPW). In the last three years, the DHA and IEC’s audit outcomes had been unqualified with findings. The DHA had achieved an unqualified opinion in 2018/19 only because they had corrected all misstatements identified during the audit. The DHA and IEC had no material findings, only because they had corrected all misstatements identified during the audit. Both the DHA and IEC had disregarded compliance with legislation. The top four non-compliance areas were management of procurement and contracts, quality of financial statements, prevention of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and revenue management.
The GPW’s audit outcomes had been unqualified for the two previous years, whereas the 2018/19 audit outcome was still outstanding, as the audit of cost of sales was still under way.
Mr Rabanda stated that financial statement preparation remained a concern, as material adjustments had been made to the annual financial statements submitted for audit purposes at the DHA. Compliance with laws and regulations remained a challenge throughout the portfolio.
With regard to financial health, revenue management was an area of concern. There was an inability on the part of the DHA to collect money owed timeously, with a resultant impairment of amounts owed due to the amounts being doubtful. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure had increased over two years. It stood at R108 000 and R151 000 in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years, respectively. Irregular expenditure stood at R122 million and R161 million in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years, respectively. Compliance with supply chain management (SCM) processes remained unchanged. The most common findings on SCM were uncompetitive and unfair procurement processes, as well as contracts that were extended or modified without the approval of a properly delegated official. In particular, the DHA had falsely declared interest by two suppliers. The IEC had awarded a R164 million contract to a bidder that did not comply with the evaluation/adjudication criteria that were stipulated in the original invitation for bidding. With regard to the DHA, there were allegations of financial fraud, SCM misconduct and lack of consequences.
Mr Rabanda said the audit outcomes for the portfolio had remained stagnant over three years. There was a continuing struggle to prepare and submit quality performance reports, and the challenge with financial statements was evident only at the DHA. Non-compliance with key legislation remained a challenge, especially in SCM, which led to increased irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The major contributors to the stagnation were the lack of internal controls due to human resource capacity constraints, slow implementation of action plans, as well as weaknesses in information technology (IT) governance and system controls.
He recommended to the DHA and its entities that management ought to monitor its action plans to ensure an improvement in the audit outcomes; that there ought to be timely consequences for officials who deliberately or negligently ignored their duties and contravened legislation; and that vacant key positions ought to be filled.
To the Committee, he recommended that:
- For officials who deliberately or negligently ignored their duties or contravened legislation, a list of action taken against transgressors should be provided quarterly to the Committee for follow up on irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred.
- The Committee should monitor the implementation of commitments by accounting officers or authorities, and the executive authority.
- The Committee should request management to provide feedback on the implementation and progress of action plans to ensure improvement in the audit outcomes.
Ms L van de Merwe (IFP) expressed unhappiness about the fact that over past three years, there had been no changes in the financial performance of the DHA and its entities. She felt that this was a result of non-accountability. She wondered if the AGSA had no teeth to turn things around, and sought clarity on what the Committee could do to turn things around, or what alternative measures could be implemented to change the financial operations of the DHA and its entities.
Ms L Tito (EFF) sought clarity on the discrepancies between the increased irregular expenditure over the past two years, and how much was recovered. Each time the AGSA came up with measures of how to operate, and nothing was done to ensure that those measures were implemented. She asked what could be done to ensure the DHA and its entities were implementing the AGSA recommendations.
Mr A Roos (DA) referred to the audit outcomes over five years, and sought clarity as to why the DHA and its entities had been committing the same errors for the last five years. What were the reasons for the poor audit outcomes? Was it due to the lack of competency and capabilities of staff members? What might be the reasons for non-compliance with laws and regulations?
Mr J McGluwa (DA) commented that the report on the DHA and its entities looked like a horror movie. He would like to add another recommendation to AGSA’s recommendations --that there should be an AGSA office in the DHA to monitor it on a regular basis and to report on its performance. Referring to unfunded vacancies, he said it was worrying that the DHA was unable to fill the critical posts. Commenting on the unqualified audit opinion for the last three years, he stressed that stern measures should be taken to ensure a clean audit opinion. The AGSA office was not good at ensuring compliance. South African Airways (SAA) owed the DHA R4 million, and no arrangement had been made to get back this money. Actually, there was a lot of revenue that the DHA had been unable to collect. There had also been a lack of action on fraud and corruption, and something had to be done to address the issue
Mr J Maake (ANC) sought clarity on the methodology applied by AGSA to arrive at its findings, and what the actual mandate of AGSA should be.
Mr M Chabane (ANC) remarked that it would be important for the AGSA to reconcile their findings with the mandate from National Treasury. The DHA and its entities could not fill some posts owing to the National Treasury moratorium on filling vacancies. It was apparent that there was no consequence management, and asked what the recourse could be if no remedial measures were taken. Commenting on suppliers, he suggested that the AGSA should clearly categorise the areas of concern, to illustrate how discrepancies kicked in.
Mr M Lekota (COPE) commented that the AGSA should not be protective. It had been established in order to open eyes of the Committee and Parliament. It should open the eyes of Members on the serious issues so that they could hold the DHA and its entities accountable.
The Chairperson said that the mandate of the AGSA had been alluded to in the presentation. The questions falling within that mandate should be responded to.
Mr Rabanda responded that the audit outcomes of the DHA and its entities could be improved only if accountability matters were taken seriously. The work of AGSA entailed identifying the weaknesses and irregularities in the financial performance, and putting them in the open. Once in open, another institution had to take over to ensure management consequences -- institutions such as law enforcement bodies, accounting officers and Parliament. Actually, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) vested accountability in the accounting officer of the DHA and its entities. The accounting officer ought to investigate the irregularities or fruitless expenditure, and should work to comply with the AGSA recommendations. If this was done, the DHA and its entities would operate properly.
When auditing, the AGSA focused on what went wrong in spending the budget. Referring to the moratorium on filling positions, he stressed that the AGSA was concerned with the key positions, and not all positions. There were critical positions that needed to be filled to ensure the capacity and competency of the DHA and its entities. He added that the performance information was not overstated. The AGSA looked at whether the financial information was useful, credible and reliable. For example, the DHA had developed the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), which had been launched in 2016. The AGSA had had to go and test whether the ABIS was working. On the usefulness of ABIS, targets had been developed on the basis of SMART theories, but the AGSA had not been satisfied with the Department’s performance.
MR Rabanda said that non-compliance with laws and regulations had resulted in fruitless expenditure. He could not respond to Roos’s question for more details. He explained that the financial fraud had stemmed from a situation where a supplier had had a relationship with an employer. Two instances had been identified. Who were these employers and suppliers? This Information could be revealed by the DHA itself. One of employees had died before the investigation could commence. Money spent on the contracts, which started running in 2017, had amounted to R247 million.
Mr Lekota said the DHA should invite the Hawks to investigate the financial fraud.
Mr V Pambo (EFF) commented that one of main challenges he had picked up from brief presentation and discussion was an inability to understand how the overall departmental operation system worked, or who did what. There were vacancies which, because of the moratorium, could not be filled. The AGSA had not taken this into account. The AGSA had not clarified what the challenges arising from the non-filling of key vacancies due to the moratorium could be. These challenges could not be attributed to the DHA, yet it had to accept all the challenges that were caused by the vacancies. It was clear that the DHA could not operate properly because of the vacancies. He expressed concern about issues of the offering of tenders and outsourcing to private entities, to assist the state. The DHA could not rely on private third parties to deliver.
The Chairperson said that the mandate of the Committee was to conduct oversight over the DHA and its entities. It would not entertain the general submissions made by Mr Pambo.
Department of Home Affairs (DHA): Briefing
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, said that he would not comment on the AGSA briefing because he was not at the meeting during the AGSA presentation. He had talked to Auditor General (AG) about the challenges the DHA was facing, stemming from the budget constraints and moratorium on filling vacancies. He was surprised to hear that the same issues had not been taken into consideration in the AGSA report. He would allow the Acting Director General to take the Committee through the DHA’s presentation, and he would intervene where necessary.
Mr Thulani Mavuso, Acting Director General: DHA, said the DHA had recorded a 73% achievement rate for the year under review. Out of a total of 30 targets planned for 2018/19, 22 targets had been achieved. This was a regression of 13% compared with the previous financial year. The poor performance in part reflected its dependence on third parties and the enactment of enabling legislation. It also highlighted critical skills shortages, especially in the DHA’s IT environment. The non-achieved targets included:
- The asylum seeker management process developed into live capture;
- The completion of the migration of AFIS data into ABIS;
- The biometric monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) full biometric solution piloted at one port of entry;
- 62 ports of entry equipped with interim biometric functionality;
- A DHA access model approved by EXCO;
- A preferred bidder appointed for the redevelopment of six priority ports of entry;
- Establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA); and
- The Immigration and Refugee Bills submitted to Parliament for approval.
The non-achievement of these targets could be attributed to dependence on third parties, lack of resources, the non-availability of data centres, delays in data migration and long external approval and legislative processes. The major dependency for the BMA to be established was the passing of legislation. The BMA Bill had been formally introduced into Parliament in May 2016, and had been endorsed by the Committee in March 2017 and by the National Assembly in June 2017. By the end of term of the 5th Administration, the Bill was still being processed in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The complexities surrounding the conducting of a socio-economic impact assessment had affected the achievement of the target regarding the Immigration and Refugee Bills, as the timeframes had been underestimated. The challenges faced by the Department were related to network connectivity, long queues, the provision of office accommodation, human resource capacity, records management, and the African Global Operations (AGO) voluntary liquidation.
Mr Mavuso said that the DHA had received an unqualified audit for the last three years. In 2018/19, the unqualified audit was due to uncertainty relating to the future outcome of litigation, impairment of accrued departmental revenue, and irregular expenditure. The final appropriation and actual expenditure of the DHA had been R9.047 billion. Irregular expenditure was R253.3 million, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure was R249 000.
The Department’s strategic priorities included:
- A comprehensive, secure National Identity System (NIS) would be at the heart of the DHA’s new operating model.
- Establishment of the BMA would be prioritised.
- For early birth registration, a joint programme between the DHA and the Department of Health would be set up to ensure that eventually no new born child would leave a health facility without a birth certificate.
- Implementation of phase one of the repositioning programme -- finalisation of the White Paper and the DHA Bill).
- Continuation of the modernisation programme, including e-gates and e-permit solutions.
- Enhancing and accelerating extra measures in the process of cleaning the National Population Register (NPR).
- Extending partnerships with banks to enable hosting of the DHA service points.
- Prioritisation of filling vacant critical posts.
- Redeployment of staff to improve operations at front offices.
- Continuous improvement of governance and administration practices.
- Undertaking an accessibility study that would inform the new DHA access model in line with the repositioning programme.
The Minister agreed that he was concerned with the financial performance of the DHA, which had been receiving unqualified opinions for the last three years. Emphasis on matters causing such audit outcomes remained the same and non-addressed. There was an issue of contingency liabilities, which mainly related to tenders which were not controlled by the DHA. Others were issues relating to the incorrect capturing of identification numbers of suppliers. He said that litigation was unavoidable because nothing could be done to stop people from taking the DHA to court. He added that relying on the State Information technology Agency (SITA) services was challenging. It was painful to rely on a third party to discharge their mandate. The DHA was compelled to use SITA’s services unless there was a change in policy. He commented that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) was working well because it was not served by SITA. He gave an example that three weeks ago, 412 offices could not work for 48 hours because of the SITA .
The Minister said that some services were centralised. When an individual applied for an ID and a passport, it did not matter where an application was filed. What mattered was the fact that all applications had to be sent to the central building in Pretoria. This building was owned by the Department of Public Works (DPW). There was a time when the electricity had been switched off, and staff members could work. That was a problem. The DHA was also stuck with the issue of BOSASA. They did not know where to take foreign nationals held at the Lindela facility for deportation. Unsuccessfully, they had approached the Department of Corrective Services and the Department of Defence. They had had no other option but to negotiate with the liquidators to give the DHA more time. Difficulties had arisen due to that fact that the DHA did not own these buildings. It was preferable for the DHA to be directly involved in, or developed, its buildings.
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC): Briefing
Mr Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), said that the IEC’s audit outcome had been unqualified with material adjustments, and that 72% of strategic outcomes towards oriented goals had been achieved. The annual financial statements had been prepared in accordance with relevant accounting standards. There were no changes in accounting policies. Total revenue as at 31 March 2019 was R2. 01 billion, and total expenditure was R1.553 billion. The surplus for the year was R455.8 million.
The IEC continued to be a going concern, its financial health was sound, and financial risk had been maintained at an acceptable level. With respect to assets, the increase in inventory was in line with operations needed for the elections. Trade receivables had increased due to deposits paid for election venues. Investment in capital expenditure had been R40.8 million. With regard to liabilities, trade payables had increased due to the increase in spending in preparation for elections. The current portion of the lease liability had increased due to the Riverside Office Park lease nearing the end of its term. Accordingly, the entire increase in equity was attributable to the surplus for the year. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred during the year had amounted to R35 015, of which R28 800 was related to a payment to the incorrect service provider. This amount was in the process of being recovered. The majority of the irregular expenditure incurred in the current year was related to a prior year finding raised by the AGSA regarding non-compliance with internal policies (terms of reference) in composing the Bid Adjudication Committee. This amounted to R101.1 million incurred in the current year, and R126.8 million cumulatively. The total value of the bid had been condoned by National Treasury on 31 May 2019.
Mr Mamabolo said that management action had been taken to prevent irregular expenditure. For instance, management had performed a root cause analysis of the AGSA findings on procurement, and was implementing an action plan. Progress on the plan was monitored regularly and reported to the audit committee. Consequence management would be at the centre of the strategy to change behaviour and deter future non-compliance with IEC policies, laws and regulations.
Mr Pambo commented that the IEC’s presentation seemed to respond to the AGSA report. He did not understand the term “condoning.” He believed that the term was technical, and understood it in the context of condoning students in cases where they had failed. How did the IEC condone itself? The reputation of the IEC was decreasing, and people were no longer feeling safe with the IEC. They no longer had trust in it. If people had no confidence in the IEC, democracy would collapse, not only in South Africa, but in Africa.
Mr Roos commented that the DHA was a part of the security cluster, so he was worried about contracting third parties. The procurement related to IT was a disaster. This had been consistent over the years. He felt that the AGSA should address the IT issue in the context of national security. He was also concerned about children standing in the queues, and suggested that there should be mobile offices to serve people in remote areas. He asked how Rwanda was able to deliver smart ID cards to its people within 42 days. What could the DHA learn from them? With regard to DHA officials doing business with the government and financial fraud, he sought clarity on what happened to staff members engaged in corruption and fraud. Referring to the contingent liabilities, he agreed that people could not be stopped from litigating, and that the DHA had to respond when it was sued. Regarding non-compliance with laws and regulations, he understood that some members of staff were committing the same errors and mistakes, and asked how repeat offenders were dealt with. Was non-compliance caused by incompetence, or was it due to capacity gaps? With regard to filling positions, he said the key and critical positions ought to be filled. At least 80% of positions should be operating. He did not agree with the excuse that the DHA’s main building was owned by the DPW. The DHA had key points whose security and operations ought to be guaranteed. He reminded the DHA that it was sitting with an unqualified audit for the last three years and ought to work to turn things around. Finally, he asked whether the Minister would engage with the executive mayors of metropolitan municipalities to conduct raids to combat illegal immigration.
Mr McGluwa sought clarity on the authenticity of the voters’ roll and the IEC’s capacity to stop double voting. During the last campaign, young people tended to register for special votes and he sought clarity on how this worked, as it had caused confusion. Directing questions involving the DHA, he remarked that the problem with SITA and its network system was that the system was always offline. He remarked that everyone lost the battle concerning the SITA. The Minister had established a good name when he was the Minister of Health, and in order to retain this reputation, he should find a solution to the SITA network challenges. He agreed that unnecessary court cases were affecting the allocated budget. Referring to Lindela facility, he said that the DHA was paying a lot in a rental fee, and suggested that it should break the rules and start building its own offices without involving the DPW. An investigation should be made on how much was paid on leasing buildings, and how much could be paid on building their own facilities. He sought clarity on the details of the charter flights and airlines, as well as the total amount paid in respect of the deportations in both the 2018/19 financial year and since the start of April this year.
Mr Maake, referring to SITA network connectivity, said that the issue was a major concern to the extent that the DHA had sought the intervention of the Committee to request the Minister of Post and Telecommunications for an exemption from the SITA Act. He asked what the deadline for the intervention could be. He wanted to know whether there was an act of Parliament requiring departments to rent from the DPW, or which stated that the departmental offices ought to be built by the DPW.
Mr Chabane said that the IEC was struggling because of the budget constraints. Referring to the IEC building, he said that the lease agreement was coming to end and asked what intervention was in place to get a new building. What was the position of the National Treasury on the building of own offices? He reminded the DHA that AGSA had placed an emphasis on ensuring consequence management. He sought clarity on what had caused the irregular expenditure.
Mr Lekota said that he had read in a newspaper that about 100 corpses had remained unidentified. He did not know whether these bodies were from outside or inside the country. His concern was to establish how long a dead body could be kept. Was there a policy providing guidance on this? If yes, what did it say about burying non-identified bodies, as corpses could not be kept for long?
Mr Pambo said that the DHA was of major concern, and suggested the Minister should declare a state of emergency, as the Department was operating on 44% of its required human resource capacity. How could the DHA deliver if it did not have even 50% of the staff members required? How could the DHA pull out of this? He remarked that as the DHA progressed, they lost strength and credibility. It was collapsing in front of the eyes of Members, and the Minister was doing nothing to stop this. Staff members were resigning, and no one was looking employment at the DHA. For this reason, it was unable to fill the positions of those who were resigning. What if all the people resigned if they were offered good jobs? What would happen? In every meeting, the same things were reported on -- shortage of personnel, irregularities, and SITA network connectivity. These problems affected the delivery of services. People could not get the documents they were looking for. All these problems led to an increase undocumented migrants in the country and as a result, one would see further xenophobic violence.
The Chairperson said that the involvement of SITA and the DPW should be set aside to avoid further problems. A letter should be sent to Cabinet to request it to review the mandate of the PWD, and an exemption should be made to the DHA from relying on SITA network connectivity.
The Minister proposed that the IEC should respond to the technical questions.
Ms Janet Love, Vice Chairperson: IEC, said that there had been changes in policy since 2003. Elections were organised and conducted in terms of prescripts so that the election processes were in fact credible. Elections were complying with the rules set out. She wanted to respond to the notion that, in the recent past, the credibility of IEC was eroding and that its capacity was diminishing. She believed that the IEC was still a credible institution. Members should take cognisance that the IEC’s mandate had been expanded. Prior to 2003, it was sufficient to have an election with the voters’ roll bearing a name, surname and ID number. The particulars of a voter had been expanded. The expanded mandate came with a huge hidden mandate. Ten years ago, the IEC had been running an election involving 15 political parties. Now the nature of politics had been changed, and the IEC was dealing with over 300 political parties at the national level.
On the question relating to the possibility of double voting, she said that the IEC would table a report on this matter. There were a number of claims that people had voted twice, so there had been a need to see whether this phenomenon had occurred. The AGSA had conducted an investigation and found that there was no double voting. A provision had been introduced that permitted voters to vote in a district where they did not stay. This had prompted voters to join queues and then to leave if that felt that queues were too long. They could go to another district. As a democratic nation, the nation had to reflect on whether the IEC could withstand its obligations under section 24A of Electoral Act.
On the building lease, she responded that the IEC was looking for an extension of the lease agreement for another six months.
On addressing long queues, Mr Mavuso said that people would like to come to offices by way of making appointments.
The DHA was not challenged with delivering services at the national level, but also at the international level. There had been a discussion with the National Treasury to increase the footprint in China and India. The DHA had been unable to increase the footprint in this country, and thus boost tourism.
The Minister commented that it was unfortunate that the perception of the IEC was declining. He was of the view that IEC was still an efficient institution in South Africa, and at the global level. The IEC had asked for R300 million to deal with the issue of smart IDs. By 2022, issues relating to IDs would have been corrected and addressed.
He applauded the IEC on its financial performance, and remarked that it was an institution which was raising huge revenue. It was bailing out the government, whereas other entities were being bailed out by the government.
On the exemption from SITA network connectivity, the matter had been lodged with the Office of the President. Regarding the DPW’s involvement with buildings, there was no constitutional mandate to depend on the DPW to develop infrastructure. There was no law stopping the DHA and IEC from building their own buildings.
Regarding whether the DHA should be closed, or a state of emergency declared, the Minister responded that Mr Pambo was extremely unfair. For the last 25 years, he had never come across a state department whose positions were all filled. Only key positions were filled. If one followed the organogram of the Department, one would see that it was operating at 44% of the filled posts. The fact remained that most vacancies were filled.
On the details of the charter flights and airlines, as well as the total amount paid in respect of the deportations, the Minister stated that R8 956 713.41 had been spent on charter flights and/or airlines by the DHA to deport undocumented migrants for the period from April 1 to August 31 this year. Before this, for the 2018/19 financial year, R33 070 629.90 had been spent on flights for the deportation of undocumented migrants.
The Chairperson remarked that the Minister had given the IEC a green light to build its own building, and that key posts should be filled. There should be a progress report on the SITA situation and on the liquidation of the Lindela facility. Regarding SITA, he commented that the Committee should be advised whether a new policy should be introduced that allowed for the exemption of the DHA.
Ms Tito asked the Minister whether he was engaging with other ministers for their department to use the services of the GPW.
Mr Pambo asked under what circumstances condonation could be invoked. He said the Minister should appreciate the discomfort caused by his Department due to its overall poor performance.
Mr Maake asked what could be done about increasing tourism from India and China. On filling vacant posts, he asked what was being done to fill the posts of inspectors.
Mr Chabane welcomed the Chairperson’s comments on the DPW and SITA, and said there was a need to meet with the DPW and the Department of Posts and Telecommunications.
Mr Lekota said that he was inspired by the positive inputs from the Minister.
Ms Love responded that condonation occurred in instances where the rules were not breached fundamentally. There were four factors that were taken into consideration by the AGSA in order to invoke condonation.
The Chairperson said that the DHA and IEC should provide a written response to the outstanding matters.
The meeting was adjourned.