Briefing by Home Affairs on programme for next 5 years

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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


17 November 1999

Instead of discussing the priorities of the Department for the next 5 years, Dr Mbatha, the Acting Director General gave a briefing on the Department's problems. The first problem he mentioned was under-funding, which he said, affected proper working and delivery by the Department. Dr Mbatha described the lack of infrastructure at the ports of entry as contributing a great deal to the number of illegal immigrants entering the country. Futile repatriation of immigrants, especially to Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and the critical staff shortage at Migration Services were some of the other problems mentioned. White Paper on International Migration would address most of the issues affecting the Department although issues like xenophobia are not addressed.

Acting Director General of the Department of Home Affairs, Dr K Mbatha, said since it was his first meeting with the Committee he will merely 'introduce the Department' to the members. Dr Mbatha said he has been working with the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee for some time. He applauded the good working relationship he enjoys with the Portfolio Committee. In addition, he said the Department and the Portfolio Committee would be meeting on monthly basis.

Dr Mbatha recounted the Departments' problems to the Committee and dwelled on the problem of under-funding. He announced that on November 1998 they received a budget of only R600 million. On December 1998 the Department requested an additional budget of 75 million but was only granted 11 million. He reminded the members to bear in mind that his Department serves the whole population including foreigners and tourists, whereas other Department's serve only a section of the population. "The Department of Home Affairs deals with everybody from birth to death." He reminded the Committee that in addition to the above, there are illegal people "sometimes estimated at 4 million and sometimes estimated at 10 million." Concerning the refugees, which South Africa has to cater for, he said the Refugee Bill has been passed but has not been implemented. Meanwhile, the daunting problem of illegal people has not subsided

Dr Mbatha said there is a critical staff shortage in the Migration Services. The ports still function with the staff establishments approved in 1994 when 24 million travelers were recorded, as compared to the 29 million travelers recorded last year. In addition to this problem, the regions tasked to do so cannot cope with the numbers of people seeking asylum in South Africa.

Moreover, since South Africa has made relations with the international world, Home Affairs must be able to give and deal with personnel who have to go and deal with consular missions. "These people have to be trained and that needs money," Dr Mbatha reminded.

He complained that the movement Control System is behind. He said about 147,000 illegal aliens are deported by train to Mozambique and 86 000 to Zimbabwe annually. "Maybe half the number have been deported twice." The DG refused to accept that it is the responsibility of the Department to guard the borders. He said that is the task of the Defence and the police. He advised that people must do away with such perceptions that the Home Affairs assist aliens to come to South Africa.

Dr Mbatha said that with the amalgamation of the TBVC states the Department has superfluous staff. He quoted in particular hundreds of staff at the Printing Works in Umtata who have no work to do whom, at the same time, one cannot simply retrench. The type of work done at Home Affairs needs trained people for example, finger print experts. With the budgetary constraints it is difficult to train people. Training people piecemeal does not achieve anything. He informed.

Questions and comments
Ms S Ntlabati (ANC, Free State) asked the Acting DG whether he has not thought of retraining the super numeral staff in Umtata.
Response: It becomes impossible to retrain because it means removing the personnel to the head office and that is not possible.

Ms J Vilakazi (IFP, KZN) complained at the inefficiency of the infrastructure used. She gave an example when she received her late husband's death certificate whilst she was still grieving stating that they were never married.
Response: We have people who are working daily to make sure that such problems do not happen again. Sometimes the system gets blocked because it is operated all over.

Mr B Mkhaliphi (ANC, Mpumalanga) wanted to know what does the Department do about the problem of soft borders.
Response: We are not responsible for guarding borders.

As the committee was pressed for time, the Chairperson thanked Dr Mbatha for the presentation and the meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:


Since the finalisation of its Transformation Policy in January 1998, the Department of Home Affairs has throughout followed a strategic planning oriented management approach with regard to all facets of departmental policy development as well as implementation. Clear goals and objectives on the future direction of the Department were mapped out in the Transformation Policy and these were firmly based on the principles, guidelines and prescriptions provided at the macro-political level. The complete organisational restructuring of the Department that came into effect on 1 April 1998 provided the operational tools for the facilitation, management and monitoring of goal achievement.

It is in this context that the Department has introduced a system of sustained action planning and policy review. Annual strategic planning workshops involving the national as well as regional management contingent of the Department constitute a pivotal tool in this regard. During the first of these workshops, held at Malaga in June 1998, the thrust of the deliberations was to translate the policy dictates of the transformation imperative into action programmes containing measurable targets and results. This work methodology proved to be highly effective especially in focusing attention and mobilising resources on priority community needs and government requirements.

The second strategic planning workshop held on 21 July 1999 consisted firstly of an in-depth review of progress made including the identification of shortfalls and critical problem areas. Secondly, a problem solving approach was followed, critical priorities identified and action strategies developed to lead the Department into the next millennium.

The outcome of this workshop constitutes the Department's vision for the way forward. It is the result of a term effort and therefore also indicative of the commitment of the Departmental management to its goals and strategies.

The purpose and functions of the Department are as follows:


(a) The identification of members of the population and the granting of specific rights and powers, and the exercise of control over the admission of aliens to and their sojourn in the Republic of South Africa.

(b) The managing of the administration of the Department and the operation of a Government Printing Works.

Current developments within the Department of Home Affairs largely center on improvement of service delivery to the clients of the Department. This is in line with the commitment by the President iii his State of the Nation Address of 25 June 1999 that the Government is determined to ensure that the machinery of state is geared towards serving the people in keeping with the vision of Batho Pele.

Within the Chief Directorate: Migration two issues currently being addressed are the finalisation of the White Paper on International Migration and of the Refugees Act, 1998.

Towards the end of 1996, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr M G
Buthelezi, appointed a Task Team to draft a Green Paper on
International Migration.

The Green Paper on International Migration states that there are three streams of people crossing our borders. The first are immigrants, individuals who would like to settle here permanently; the second stream are refugees, people who flee persecution in their own country and seek asylum here; and the third and most controversial stream of people are migrants, many whom are not authorised to be here.

The Green Paper contains several recommendations that were then re-examined in the White Paper. Amongst its suggestion that formed the basis for the following stage of policy formulation were the recommendations that:

a) The current apparatus, including the Immigrants Selection Board be replaced with a more objective system;

b) for refugees, a system of refugee protection that is simple, practical and manageable should be implemented and that the burden of refugee protection should be shared with other SADC member states and should not therefore be our responsibility alone;

c) the problem of unauthorised migration should in part be dealt with by giving bona fide economic migrants from other SADC countries, who have no intention of settling here permanently, increased opportunities for legal participation in our labour market;

d) more effective but rights-based enforcement of new immigration policy be introduced, based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights;

e) government action should be restrained in favour of the rights of unauthorised migrants. This includes due process, administrative review and the right to information; and

f) enforcement should be made effective within this framework, requiring the Department of Home Affairs be transformed into a distinct immigration service

The Green Paper was published in the Government Gazette on 13 May 1997 for comment from the public. Extensive comment was received, with business inclined to a more lenient immigration policy and labour to a stricter immigration policy.

At the end of 1997, the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister M G
Buthelezi, appointed another task team, chaired by the Director General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mr A S Mokoena, to consider the comment and to draft a White Paper.

The Task Team members presided over public hearings on the White
Paper, which were held in all nine provinces from 14 September to 15
October 1998. Besides the public hearings, the Task Team held
regular meetings where the comment received on the Green Paper, the
input from the public hearings as well as matters of concern, such as xenophobia, were considered.

The White Paper was presented to the Minister of Home Affairs and approved by Cabinet in March 1999. The White Paper acknowledges weaknesses within the current system of border control and shifts administrative and policy emphasis from border control to community and workplace inspection, shifting resources towards enforcement. it proposes:

- that an Immigration Service, Immigration Review Board as well as specialist immigration courts be established;
- entry and residence permit systems that are simple to administer;
- that Immigration Selection Boards should be abolished; and
- that the entire system of entry control be restructured as proposed in the White Paper.

This paper is now before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and it is envisaged that a draft bill to implement the new policy should be ready for presentation or to Parliament by the end of this year.

During September 1993, the South African government and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) entered into a Basic Agreement that stipulated that the South African government would protect and treat refugees who have fled to South Africa according to internationally accepted principles..

In line with other countries, South is a signatory to the1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. These agreements outline the internationally accepted principles and criteria necessary for status determination, the treatment and protection of refugees in host countries. South Africa acceded to both Conventions in January 1996.

The section Refugee Affairs was established in 1994 to deal with the increasing number of asylum applicants. The sub-directorate had a staff complement of 4 but increased to 9 officials, in 1999, due to the massive stream of individuals seeking asylum in South Africa. In addition, all Refugee Affairs staff have been trained by the UNHCR in refugee law and status determination and bi-monthly meetings are attended to foster a greater working relationship.

In the absence of South Africa's implementation of domestic refugee legislation, the Aliens Control Act, 1991, has been utilized to regulate the stay of asylum seekers. The Refugees Act, as a result of the need to establish refugee law and procedures in the country, was enacted in 1998. However, the Act is presently not in force. We envisage this happening in January 2000. Meanwhile, we ale developing regulations, establishing structures, training officials installing equipment, etc.

Presently, once an individual lodges her/his intention to apply for asylum, s/he is interviewed, an application is lodged and s/he issued with a section 41 permit (which is renewed every three months); in order to legalize her/his stay in the country, pending the outcome of the application.

The application, which is referred to Head Office, is considered by the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs, which consists of the Director, Head of Refugee Affairs and officials who are trained in refugee related matters and is decided in terms of internationally accepted criteria.

It can also be considered by one of the Sub-Committees for Refugee
Affairs on behalf of the Standing Committee, if the application is made
in the region and the applicant is a national of a country which the
Sub-committee has been instructed to deal with.

The criteria used for the granting of refugee status are a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of political opinion, race nationality, religion and membership of a particular social group, or to have been compelled to leave one's country due to occupation, foreign domination or the disruption of public order as determined by the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

Once the Standing Committee has reached a decision, administrative section informs the respective regions in writing.

After the asylum seeker receives the rejection letter, an opportunity of thirty days is also provided for an appeal against the previous decision of the Standing Committee. The appeal application is reviewed by the Appeal Board for Refugee Affairs, which is a statutory body, and whose decision is final and binding. Presently the Appeal Board consists of a chairperson, Mr A R Arbee, a Senior Administrative Officer and four administrative officials. If the Appeal Board upholds the decision of the Standing Committee, appellants can ask for a judiciary review, which is the final stage pending their departure from the RSA.

If an asylum seeker is granted asylum in South Africa, s/he is deemed a refugee and will be issued with the Certificate of Exemption (a temporary exemption from section 23(b) of the Aliens Control Act which exempts the holder from temporary residence control for a specific period and which can be considered for renewal), in terms of the Aliens Control Act, 1991.

In general, South Africa receives an estimated 16 000 asylum applications per annum, of which about 1 600 applications are approved. South Africa has so far received asylum applications from 109 countries and only nationals from 9 countries are recognised as refugees.

Currently, Refugee Affairs has an estimated backlog of 18 000 asylum applications and this figure is increasing monthly by 1 300 new applications. Refugee Affairs is therefore overwhelmed by the flood of applications. The matter is further exacerbated by asylum seekers abusing the asylum institution, staff shortages and financial constraints.

It is intended to implement the Refugees Act, 1998, by 1 January 2000. Three designated Refugee Receiving Offices have already been installed with the new refugee system which was developed last year to provide Refugee Affairs with a specialised and accurate database of asylum seekers in South Africa

Pending the implementation of the Act, Refugee Affairs has already identified five (5) offices as Refugee Receiving Offices:

Braamfontein Office, Gauteng West
Cape Town Regional Office, Western Cape
Durban Regional Office, KwaZulu-Natal
Port Elizabeth Regional Office, Eastern Cape
Pretoria District Office, Gauteng East

The intention of the Refugee Act, 1998 is for each Refugee Receiving Office to determine asylum applications and not for them to be referred to Head Office. This process will ensure that asylum seekers receive a fair and speedy process. Further, the functions and the decisions of the Refugee Receiving Officer will be regulated and supervised by the Standing Committee, as stated in section 11(b) of the Refugees Act, 1998.

In the cases of Manifestly Unfounded claims, the decisions of Refugee Receiving Officers will also be reviewed as stated in section 11 (e);

Refugee Status Determination Officers will have to refer matters of law to the Standing Committee for a decision and the decisions of the Refugee Status Determination Officer will be monitored by the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs.

Chapter 2, Section 9 (1), calls for the establishment of an independent Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and the Headquarters must be determined by the Minister.

Chapter 2, Section 12 (1), calls for the establishment of an independent Refugee Appeal Board for whom the Headquarters must be determined by the Minister.

The issue of work permits to foreigners has received a lot of prominence of late.

Since revised legislation as implemented since 1 July 1996 provide that work permits may only be applied for from abroad, the functions of temporary residence have been centralised. Regions are currently only authorised to grant extensions of the said permits, and all applications received by South African foreign Missions are referred to the Department's Head Office in Pretoria. The White Paper has highlighted the inadequacy of this system and proposed the blue print for its complete overhauling.

The White Paper has highlighted how, within the present administrative and policy framework, only minor improvements can be achieved and that a lateral shift of emphasis is required.

A problem for the Department in respect of foreigners who apply for work permits in the self-employment category, is the capability to establish whether the businesses are in fact established and South African citizens are indeed employed. A further problem is effectively checking on foreigners whether in fact they give training to South African citizens/permanent residents to take over from them after employment contracts expired. The situation is further compounded by staff shortages and monitoring systems in regional offices not being as efficient as they should be.

However, during November/December 1998 the Department issued Immigration and Consular Codes to the regional and foreign offices containing clear policy guidelines. These guidelines include specific requirements in respect of extensions of temporary residence permits, e.g. audited financial statements, employment contracts, progress reports on the training of South African citizens/permanent residents, advertisements of posts if the period of the original employment contract is to be extended which are required when extensions of work permits are considered. Head Office is monitoring the situation in order to handle any hitches before they become crises.

Within the Chief Directorate: Civic Services, three issues, relating to marriage, are currently receiving attention.

The recognition of Customary Marriages Ac, 1998 (Act No. 120 of 1998) was promulgated on 2 December 1998, but is not in operation yet. In terms of the Act, the Minister of Home Affairs will be responsible for the registration of customary marriages, the designation of registering officers and granting of consent to a customary marriage in the prescribed circumstances. The rest of the Act falls under control of the Minister of Justice. Draft regulations are being prepared by these two Departments. In terms of Section 11 (1) the Minister of Justice, in consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs, may make regulations relating to the issues provided for in the said Section 11.

The South African Law Commission, at the request of the Minister of Home Affairs, through the Minister of Justice, is conducting an in depth investigation into the divergent marriage systems in South Africa, including a review of the Marriage Act, 1961, with a view to harmonising these systems and introducing new marriage legislation recognising the diverse needs of the South African society.

The recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998, is a product of the aforesaid investigation. The Law Commission is presently investigating the Marriage Act, 1961, religious law marriages, and domestic partnerships (including same sex partnerships). Discussion papers on these issues are expected in due course.

A major development within the Department relating to the identification of individuals, is the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS).

Hanis is a system that will enable the Department to implement an Automated Fingerprint Identification system (AFIS) and an Identity Card (IDC) which, if compared to the existing ID books, should be extremely difficult to forge. It is quite clear therefore, that both the public and private sector will benefit from this venture.

The Department engaged the services of the Auditor-General for the evaluation of the HANIS tender to ensure transparency and fair play.

In the meantime other stakeholders approached the Office of the Public Protector. To enhance the process a Senior Council's opinion was also sought. The reports of the Auditor General as well as the Senior Council's opinion were favourable towards the process being continued.

Due to investigations that were conducted by the Auditor-General as well as the Public Protector, the Department's recommendations could not be submitted to the State Tender Board before the end of 1998. The HANIS tender was awarded in February 1999, after the recommendations of the Public Protector had been fully implemented.

The HANIS project has now been awarded to the MarPless consortium, which comprises of MarPless Communication Technologies as prime contractor, Unisys Corporation and NEC Corporation as subcontractors. A contract, which was handed to the State Tender Board for ratification in conjunction with the Office of the State Attorney was recently signed by the Department and MarPless and the project can now finally get underway.

As mentioned at the outset, a workshop involving senior management of the Department was held on 21 July 1999. The main focus of the discussions at this workshop was on identifying critical problem areas within the Department with regard to complying with thc Presidential initiatives and also to formulate concrete action strategies whereby the Department could make its full contribution towards realising Governmental priorities over the next five years.

During the Malaga strategic planning workshop (June 1998) certain pertinent objectives and goals were set. As they were derived from the transformation policy of the Department, they constituted the point of departure of the discussions. They provide both direction for future planning and contain benchmark measurables for the Department.

The President's State of the Nation Address provides clear direction as to the approach and direction of the new Government. Certain statements and actions since the inauguration of the new Government on 16 June 1999 further enunciate this direction. Pertinent in this regard is that transformation is not an add-on to line function activity. It should constitute the context within which the core business of government agencies is undertaken. Transformation should therefore be imbedded in all departmental activities. It is not something separate and should permeate all planning and action in Migration, Civic Services and the support functions alike.

The implications of the above are clear - the transformation imperative is not the sole responsibility of the departmental Strategic Planning and Policy Unit or of the Transformation Unit. Every line functionary is required to be a transformation manager and will as a matter of fact be held accountable for progress (even as close to home as the embodiment hereof in individual service contracts).

The main thrust of the governmental direction is focused on implementation. The time for lengthy meetings and glossy documents is over. Results are of the essence and will meticulously be monitored and evaluated.

The DPSA has been instructed to develop precise measurement instruments for transformation progress. Three key indicators are to be measured: performance; output; and impact. In this regard the DPSA has identified Home Affairs and Health as the priority departments who deal most directly and with the largest numbers of the population.

The message is therefore clear - we will be called, and that will be done in terms of defined measurable workshop should consequently squarely operative framework of the new Government.

Following is a summary of the crucial problem areas identified and action strategies formulated within the operational sphere of each of the Department's Chief Directorates which will be addressed over the next five years;


Problem areas to be addressed;

· Understaffing in certain crucial operating areas is critical. Of particular note are;

· Critical vacancies that cannot be filled due to the moratorium on appointment of staff.

· The position with regard to VSP posts further inhibits proper human resources planning.

· Government service conditions don't adequately provide for incentives that will enhance performance.

Action strategy:

· Available staff should be used more appropriately - transfer from one section to another should be possible without affecting the post. The transfer of skills is an important management tool. Multi-purpose deployment of staff should be considered such as using Immigration Officers in ID Campaigns, especially in remote rural areas.

· Capacity building among staff is crucially important and of special note is that the Directorate: Human resource Development should:

i) Expand functional training primarily focusing on capacity building among previously disadvantaged employees.

ii) Enhance personal enrichment and enabling training such as ABET programmes.

iii) Upgrade computer training in order to enable especially staff dealing directly with the public to serve them more efficiently and promptly.
iv) Present adequate financial training. In this regard Regional Directors should identify officials with financial expertise to train and assist colleagues especially at a district level to property manage and monitor their budgetary allocations.

· The introduction of the new Public Service Regulations that inter alia provide for a process of job valuation with regard to all departmental posts, will eventually culminate in the determination of a new staff establishment for the Department based on a scientific formula. Furthermore, the Department will in future have greater freedom to determine its own service conditions i.e introduction of incentive schemes.

Problem areas to be addressed:

· The lack of adequate funds impedes adequate service delivery especially in rural areas where the need is the greatest.

· Costly losses occur due to the fact that the control over government assets is not sufficiently effective.

· The lack of adequate official transport, especially at a sub-regional level, seriously impedes efficiency and service delivery improvement.

· Budgeting procedure does not adequately focus on crucial operational needs.

Action strategy:

· 'The reality of limited governmental resources, particularly finances, as well as the objective of rationalising and right sizing the Public Service should be accepted. Consequently the challenge is to, not only maintain, but also improve service levels by working smarter and more cost effective.

· In instances approved beforehand alternative methods of funding of selected projects can be explored. In the Western Cape for instance the Airport Company offered to provide funds in order to pay SD casual workers at Cape Town International Airport. R 250 000 has been promised in this way. Also, the Airport Company has offered to supply a customer friendly uniform to Immigration Officers. Financial Regulations should in all instances be meticulously followed.

· The control over departmental assets should be strengthened. A continuous emphasis should be placed on the saving and redirecting of resources.

· A particular emphasis should be placed on the adequate resourcing of remote and deeply rural areas where the need for service is often the greatest.

Problem areas to be addressed:

· Poor service delivery especially in rural areas where the need is often the greatest is a priority matter that requires constant attention.
· The lack of moral support by all Chief Directors and Directors from Head Office to Regional Directors and staff is a pressing problem experienced by Regional Directors. Motivations requested by Head Office e.g. budget increases, have no value since they are pushed aside. Head Office should share Regional Directors frustration and pain. Without moral support there will be poor service delivery.

· Shortcomings occur in complying with the service standards as announced by the Minister on 30 March 1998 in terms of the White Paper on Service Delivery Improvement.

· A poor communication strategy with regard to both the public at large as well as within the Department exists.

· The remoteness of many service points and the vast distances from district and regional offices often impedes proper communication and co-ordination.

· Service points under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice are not viable.

· Co-ordination between different sections in the Department is often not sufficient. Proper teamwork and appreciation of the different roles of functionaries is lacking.

· The exceptional nature of departmental policies, such as its transformation framework, is often jeopardised by the lack of implementational capacity.

Action strategy:

· Special action plans should be devised where compliance with the announced service standards is not sufficient particularly with regard to the time frames set for the issuing of official documents. The customer service dimension should also receive priority attention and use should be made of specialised expertise in this regard (such as is the case with the joint Woolworths/Home Affairs project currently underway).

· A special emphasis should be placed on adequate service provision to disadvantaged communities. Of special note in this regard are remote and deeply rural communities, the poor and unemployed, as well as marginalised groups such as the Khoi and San who should be supported in establishing their status and identity. Regional Directors should, moreover, work closely with the office on the Status of Women in the offices of the Premiers (at a national level these activities are co-ordinated by the Special Programmes unit at Head Office) and full use should be mad( of the services rendered by the EAP sub-directorate, especially in driving the HIV/AIDS Programme. Particular attention should also be paid to the upgrading of departmental services in the former TBVC and national states that were neglected in the past.

· Service points and especially mobile units are a crucial instrument for the provision of adequate services to local communities.

· Departmental capacity should be strengthened by way of close Co-operation with all relevant role-players and stakeholders. Of the essence in this regard are:

i) Other national departments, such as the synchronisation of our mobile unit system with that of mobile clinics operated by the Department of Health. The one-stop service concept should be utilised, especially in rural areas.

ii) Provincial administrations, particularly through cIose liaison with the Offices of Premiers.

iii) Local governments and traditional leaders, i.e in making use of their office facilities.

iv) Community based organisations, i.e. in mobilising their supporters to apply for Identity Documents. The establishment of Home Affairs Community Forums should be considered.

(v) Stakeholders such as business with regard to finalise assistance, the prevision of infrastructure and specialised expertise (Treasury Regulations to be complied with).

· An effective communication strategy should be developed for the Department with a particular focus on the service delivery improvement imperative. This strategy should essentially focus on two areas namely:

i) Mobilising the total staff compliment of the Department for compliance with as well as enthusiastic involvement in policy implementation and the drive towards service excellence.
ii) Projecting the desired image of the Department as a customer oriented and user-friendly agency endeavoring at all times to serve clients to the best of its ability within the imits of available resources.

· A culture of service and public spiritness has to be developed within all cadres of the Department. This pertains, not only to ethically induced conduct, being the foremost tool against corruption, but also to a commitment of duty and service towards the nation. Central to this is a customer focused orientation especially in realising the fact that the total South African population as well as all foreigners who visit South Africa are clients of the Department.

· The establishment and nurturing of a team spiritness throughout the Department is vital. Especially with regard to the relationship between Head Office arid the regions, a "us and you" inclination can only be destructive. Regional functionaries, who are in the frontline of daily interaction with the public and stakeholders, deserve the ongoing moral and tangible support of their counterparts at Head Office. Regional Directors should also be afforded the opportunity to regularly interact with each other in order to share experiences and best practice options. A reliable and consistent two-way Communication flow between Head Office and the regions is essential.

· It is the responsibility of the Chief Directorate: Strategic Planning and Service Delivery to, on the one hand, act as the channel for general managerial and administrative interaction between Head Office and the regions and, on the other hand, to monitor and evaluate progress with regard to transformation and service delivery. This is essential for our own strategic planning purposes as well as for reporting to the Office of the President, Cabinet, Portfolio Committee, etc. The object is to establish a comprehensive database that will continuously be updated. A standardised and comprehensive monthly reporting schedule is being finalised at present and will be forwarded to Regional Directors. It is envisaged that this reporting system will become operational as from the end of August.

· It is imperative that Regional Directors should receive feedback with
regard to their reports and the evaluation thereof. The hi-monthly
meetings between Head Office and regional staff, as stipulated in the
Transformation Policy Framework, should serve as the primary vehicle in
this regard. Moreover, due to us involvement in national inter-
governmental policy making structures regarding transformation and
service delivery issues, this Chief Directorate is staying informed
regarding crucial policy directions and requirements at a national level.
Relevant information pertaining to these matters will on an ongoing basis
be provided to regions. This will ensure that Regional Directors and their
staff will not operate within a policy vacuum.

Problem areas to be addressed:

· The perception exists that the Department is soft on illegal international migrants.

· Insufficient capacity exists, i.e. manpower, to address the issue of illegal migration.

Action strategy:

· The existing wrong perception that the Department is soft on illegal international migrants should be corrected. It should be emphasised that we act throughout within the framework of applicable legal requirements and particularly that the human rights dimensions as prescribed by the Constitution, international conventions, etc. have to be complied with.

· The Government has created an environment in which foreign Investors
provide jobs to the underprivileged. The Department plays a crucial role
in this regard (i.e. residence and work permits). This positive role should
be emphasised.

· The finalisation of the White Paper on International Migration will provide a consistent framework for dealing with this daunting reality and establish clear direction for the future with regard to migration matters.

Problems to be addressed:

· The need to issue Identity Documents has not come to an end with the termination of the formal ID campaign. The population is still increasing and the demand for IDs will be ongoing.

· It is difficult to penetrate the deeply rural areas due to the lack of facilities, transport and poor roads.

Action strategy:

· The capacity created and experience gained from the Campaign should be maintained and even strengthened.

· The implementation of HANIS will significantly enhance proper identification and status determination of the South African population.

Problems to be addressed:

· Limited capacity at IT inhibits adequate servicing and maintenance of
computer systems.

· All service points are without computer equipment and links and this seriously impedes service delivery to remote and rural areas. Service points are operated by regional and district offices on a regular basis (i.e. once or twice a week).

Action strategy:

· Problems should be tackled holistically, e.g. Y2K is an International nightmare which requires attention by all.

Problems to be addressed:

· Unnecessary litigation, i.e. emanating from improper actions by immigration officers, overburden the limited resources of Legal Services.

Action strategy:

· Immigration officers should not only be properly trained with regard to their formal duties but also sensitised with regard to be relevant legal implications of their actions as well as the human rights dimensions involved.

Problems to be addressed:

· The ACU lacks capacity - its staff compliment consists of 10 officials whilst the total personnel of the Department exceeds 6 000

· The crime cartels operate with a high degree of sophistication.

Action strategy:

· A clear function clarification between the ACU and other functionaries such as the Directorate Ethical Conduct, Inspection Services and internal Audit should be determined. A Work Study investigation is currently being conducted in this regard.

The ACU should guide especially regions on corruption prevention


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