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SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
13 May 1998
BRIEFING BY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS ON HOME AFFAIRS BUDGET
Document handed out:
Budget debate - Presentation to the Select Committee by the Director-General of Home Affairs on 13 May 1998 (see appendix)
The Director-General of Home Affairs, Mr Mokoena, presented the budget to the committee members. After he went through the document, the members asked the Director-General questions. In answer to a question about affirmative action and gender he said that empowerment of women in all departments was being addressed as fully as possible.
Regarding the HANIS (Home Affairs National Identification System) project, there had been accusations that the process was not transparent enough. The Director-General replied that they were busy with the final phase of the evaluation and there have been overseas tests done on Phase 3 . There were delays in the project but these have been sorted out. An additional R36 million was required for this year for the ID campaign. It was also said that there was a need for a public awareness campaign concerning fingerprints.
Members also asked how long it took to process both an ID and a passport. How sure is the Department that there are only 2.5 million people without bar-coded IDs and would R36 million be sufficient to process those required? The Director-General informed the committee that there was no back-up plan for those not having the bar-coded ID in time for the 1999 election. The Department wishes to avoid emergency IDs as people would abuse this facility. He continued by saying that passports took six weeks to process and IDs took two to three months. Regarding the R36 million, the Director-General stated that it had not been given to the Department yet. He suggested that the committee approach the Minister about getting the money from the government. A member said that many people did not have birth certificates, which meant that they could not fill in forms for their ID. It was felt that the Department should look into that matter and get the assistance of local government and chiefs.
Concerning the registration for voting, it would begin in October. The Minister of Home Affairs needed to make sure that the public had the necessary documents. Also, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) needed to start a campaign around the national elections.
It was raised that the South African Law Commission was taking a considerable amount of legal time to finalise the law surrounding customary marriages. Law regarding inheritance where there was more than one wife still had to be worked out. Law regarding marriages between the same gender also had to be looked at. It was suggested that the Law Commission should issue progress reports.
With regard to the Mozambican refugees, they would ultimately be regularised as South Africans. Currently Section 41 permits them to conduct certain activities until their position is looked into. The Human Watch Report is being responded to. A lot of work had been done in the Department of Immigration at border posts. However budget cuts have caused various departments to stick to their own work rather than give assistance to one another, for example between SAPS and Immigration. Efforts have been made to co-ordinate mobile units to ensure that they do what is expected.
Regarding positions in the Department, the Director-General informed the committee that the regional director posts have been advertised. Six regional directors have not been re-appointed as they did not fulfill the criteria. In passing it was mentioned that old TBVC states needed to be watched as ID documents could be bought for R50.
The Director-General stated that Government Printing rationalisation was still a problem, but it was being sorted out.
Focussing on the Film and Publication Board, the Director-General said that appointments have been made, but Cabinet had to ratify them still. On 15th to 16th April, a workshop was held where various discussions were held on drafting of regulations and submissions were made for viewing of films. The target date for the Film and Publication Act to come into effect was the 1 July 1998. The Chairperson stated that child pornography especially on the Internet was a problem and a programme of action must be devised to curb it.
BUDGET DEBATE - PRESENTATION TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE BY DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF HOME AFFAIRS ON 13 MAY 1998
1.PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITMENT
The Minister publicly announced our "Statement of Standards" at a media conference on 31 March 1998, also attended by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Dr Zola Skweyiya.
Keen interest from the public has since been experienced and thousands of copies of the Statement were distributed nationwide. The toll-free complaints line has been ringing non-stop and enquiries about departmental services have surged.
Although the Service Delivery Improvement Plan will only become fully operative on 1 July 1998 many dimensions thereof have already been implemented. The Plan is not a static product and will from time to time be revised and updated in order to achieve even higher standards of service. Of particular importance is also the maintenance of achieved standards and effective action and control to prevent backsliding.
As a Department we are committing ourselves to service excellence with regard to the functions that we perform.
The Market Street Office in Johannesburg "Muhle" is being upgraded as a pilot office for the implementation of the project.
The full staff compliment as at 30 June 1997 indicated that 61% of the personnel of the Department were Black and 39% were White.
The compliment as at 30 April 1998 reflect the figures to be 68% Black and 32% White, representing an increase of 7% in the number of Blacks.
Regarding the rank of Assistant Director and equal grading and higher, as at 30 June 1997 and 30 April 1998, the increase in the percentage for Blacks is as follows for the various ranks:
5.1 Director-General : 100%
5.2 Chief Director : 7%
5.3 Director : 28%
5.4 Deputy Director : 6%
5.5 Assistant Director : 13%
2. HANIS UPDATE
Cabinet Committee for Social and Administrative Affairs, when considering the progress report on the HANIS evaluation, noted that there were concerns raised with regard to tender procedures. It was decided that Minister Buthelezi convene the Ministers of Finance, Public Service and Administration, Post and Telecommunication, Health and Social Welfare in order to consider relevant issues pertaining to the tender procedures and report to the Cabinet.
The subsequent meeting attended also by respective DG's, established that there is no apparent deviation from the set STB procedures and therefore no substantiated reasons to cause concern. The evaluation process will continue unabated and a simultaneous evaluation of the technological relevance in respect of the card solution will be pursued.
The South African Law Commission is still attending to the matter, although this is long overdue and putting the Department in an embarrassing position as it is difficult to justify the delay. A meeting with the Law Commission at high level is to be scheduled.
SERVICE DELIVERY: IDENTITY DOCUMENTS
We have embarked on the ID Campaign which started sometime in February 1998, to create awareness for necessity of having an ID document, which amongst other things, will play an important role in the 1999 General Elections. These will of course have organisational, personnel and financial implications.
Organisational and Personnel Implication
Appointment of staff on temporary basis (casual workers and/or contract workers) and overtime as well as necessary infrastructure in the form of mobile units and equipment will be required.
A total of R36 341 million additional to the 1998/99 Budget of the Department in order to launch country-wide ID campaign will be required. The breakdown per region is as follows:
Gauteng West: R 0 649 million
Gauteng East: R 0 751 million
North West: R 3 417 million
Northern Province: R 2 804 million
Mpumalanga: R 5 344 million
KwaZulu-Natal: R 4 046 million
Western Cape: R 8 539 million
Northern Cape: R 0 979 million
Eastern Cape: R 8 686 million
Free State: R 1126 million
R36 341 million
According to the draft Electoral Bill, only a bar coded Identity Document issued in terms of section 8 of the Identification Act, 1986 (Act 72 of 1986), will qualify for registration for the 1999 elections.
According to our records 25 million citizens are registered with bar coded Identity Documents. It is estimated that about 2.5 million eligible citizens are not yet in possession of the bar coded Identity Documents. This campaign will target this population as well.
A Treasury Committee Memorandum has been prepared to this effect.
3. WHITE PAPER ON MIGRATION
Task Group is already appointed and informed. The first meeting of the Task
Group is scheduled for 27 May 1998. The list of members is attached as
The final time frame for publication of the White Paper is still to be determined, but it is envisaged that the Task Group will have produced the draft White Paper by October 1998.
The budget required to produce the White Paper is R235 000-00. This was not provided for in the 1998/99 budget and will now be addressed in the First Report.
WHITE PAPER ON REFUGEES
The Task Group will commence its activities on 12 May 1998 and the draft White
Paper will be ready by 20 June 1998. The process will cost the Department
approximately R15 000-00. The list of members of this Task Group is attached as
MOZAMBICANS WHO HAD REFUGEE STATUS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Cabinet decided on 4 December 1996 that those who had elected to remain in
South Africa would be granted exemptions in terms of section 28 of the Aliens
Control Act, 1991.
Cabinet further approved that the period during which the application for such an exemption must be lodged from 2 January 1997 until 30 June 1997.
Due to the delay in the finalising the project of granting exemptions to the SADC citizens in terms of an earlier decision, it was not possible to commence with the exemptions for the former Mozambican refugees.
It is expected that approximately 90 000 persons will avail themselves of this opportunity.
AWEPA has indicated that they are willing to fund the exercise, but it now appears as if they intend to target persons who do not qualify in terms of the Cabinet decision and it may be necessary to fund the exercise departmentally. It is envisaged that, if the State has to fund the project, it will cost approximately R1m. This has not been provided for.
IMMIGRATION OFFICERS: STAFFING
In order to address the ever-escalating number of illegal aliens in the country, it is considered necessary to increase the number of immigration officers by 429. For this, an amount of Rl7m was budgeted for but not allocated. Given the large number of illegals in the country, it is simply not possible to cope given the current number of immigration officers.
It is envisaged that many illegal aliens will attempt to obtain South African documents for the forthcoming elections. This will place an additional strain on the already overstretched human resources of the Department.
4. MOBILE UNITS
A total number of 77 mobile units have been provided for to some rural and decentralised communities. Regional Offices confirmed that these mobile units are still in use.
According to statistics of the past four (4) months 180 047 people were reached. An average figure for the 1997/98 financial year would amount to 540 000.
THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING WORKS
* The Umtata Government Printing Works in terms of the present instruction is being considered for reduction in size from an establishment of 291 posts to + 123 posts.
* Rationalisation and re-organisation of the national Government Printing as a result of duplication in numerous departments and provinces is also receiving attention.
The building occupied by the Government Printer, Pretoria is no longer appropriate for the operations being performed. To this end and in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, an investigation/study has just been completed. The report is presently being considered between the Government Printer and Public Works.
In terms of a Cabinet Resolution a feasibility study is to be undertaken. A tender document has been drafted.
Discussions have just taken place with Public Enterprises and its Consultants who have agreed that tenders be called for, to commence with the study.
THE FILM AND PUBLICATION BOARD
The Film and Publication Board was appointed on 15 January 1998 and the Board held a workshop on 15 to 16 April 1998 where important matters, inter alia, the drafting of regulations, were discussed.
The whole Act, including its structures, will commence at the latest on 1 July 1998.
TASK TEAM FOR DRAFTING OF A WHITE PAPER ON MIGRATION
Chairperson: Mr A S Mokoena (Director-General: Department of Home Affairs)
Members: Dr W James (IDASA)
Mr D Lewis (NEDLAC)
Mr D Chetty (NEDLAC)
Dr M G R Oriani-Ambrosini (Ministerial Advisor)
Adv P K O'Malley (Inkatha Freedom Party)
Officials Dr P M Matlou (Chief Director: Migration)
from the Mr A F Tredoux (Chief Director: Legal Advisory Services)
Department Mr M Tlhomelang (Director: Residence)
Mr C Schravesande (Director: Admissions and Aliens Control)
TASK TEAM FOR DRAFTING OF A WHITE PAPER ON REFUGEES
Dr Barney Pityana (Human Rights Commission)
Ms V Taylor (Gender Commission)
Ms De La Hunt (Legal Aid Clinic, University of Cape Town)
Mr A F Tredoux (Department of Home Affairs)
Mr M Tlhomelang (Department of Home Affairs)
Mr M Schoeman - Secretary (Department of Home Affairs)
Mr Babini Vantyu (Lawyers for Human Rights)
Mr Bruno Geddo (UNHCR)
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