Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 10 Jul 2019
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 10 JULY 2019
PROCEEDINGS OF THE MINI-PLENARY SESSION - COMMITTEE ROOM E249
Members of the mini-plenary session met in Committee Room E249 at 14:01.
The House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The secretary will read the order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I now call upon the hon Minister of Home Affairs to introduce his Budget Vote.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is the point of order?
Mrs T J MOKWELE: Chair, with due respect, I think this is a formal sitting of the mini-plenary; therefore the rules of the Assembly do apply. So, I am requesting your indulgence, Chair, in terms of sitting arrangements. By the look of things, the minority have now seated in the seats that must occupied by the parties that worked the ground. So, I was suggesting that the sitting arrangements must be properly arranged.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, there is no sitting arrangements during mini-plenaries. [Applause.] The members can sit where ever they want to. You can even sit amongst the other parties if you want to. So, there are no sitting arrangements here. Continue hon Minister.
Debate on Vote No 5 – Home Affairs
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, my colleague Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, hon Njabulo Nzuza, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, the hon Bongani Bongo, hon members of the portfolio committee, the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, Mr Glen Mashinini, the representative of the chief executive officer, CEO, of the Government Printing Works, Ms Michel Modise, hon members of this House, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow South Africans, good afternoon. Mme Tebogo Mokwele, please be governable until I finish my speech.
It is a great honour and privilege to present to this House the 2019-20 home affairs budget and in the process to outline our plans. Every human being found within the borders of the Republic of South Africa will at some time or another, need the Department of Home Affairs, unless such an individual deliberately and for some sinister motive, decides to exist in contravention of the laws of the country.
Hence the Department of Home Affairs has two main arms that define its functions. The two arms could be described broadly as the civic matters and also as the immigration matters. I have just realised since coming to the Department of Home Affairs that many people believe home affairs means immigration and immigration only and this is misleading and unfortunate.
Hon Chairperson, actually the civic matters of home affairs is the biggest and the most active. This is because any individual who once to live a stable, productive and trouble free and beneficial life within the confines of the law, such an individual has to be serviced by the Home Affairs Department. At least three times within their life time.
Of course, it will be four times for those who decide to get married.
Your first ever interaction with home affairs is when you arrive into this world through the Republic of South Africa. Home affairs must record your arrival and put you on the population register.
This is done by awarding you a birth certificate to proof that you have arrived. This document will indicate who you are, when did you arrive, where in the country did you arrive and who gave birth to you.
On this document, home affairs also awards you a number, denoted as your identity which will help in all your transactions and interactions with the state, the corporate world and fellow human beings until you depart this planet.
Your second interaction with home affairs is of course, when you turn 16 and you take an ID.
Your third one is when you get married.
Your fourth and last interaction with home affairs is when you depart this planet, because home affairs must record that indeed you have left and never to return. This is called the death certificate.
Because of our relationship with the rest of the world, some of us need the fifth interaction with home affairs, which is when you are awarded a passport.
I have deliberately detailed these interactions that people might regard as obvious, but for two reasons. Firstly, to remind you what home affairs is mainly about, but secondly, to warn that this seemingly interactions with home affairs while necessary may sometimes turn into horror - absolute horror.
I am talking here of the type of horror that may turn your life upside down. It may bring your life to an absolute standstill or even force your life into a tailspin.
Today in this budget speech, I want us to travel together on a journey to make sure that the five interactions of our people in this country with the Department of Home Affairs are pleasant and as
pleasant as they could be. We need to work together to eliminate possibilities of unpleasantness.
It may be essential for me to outline some of the issues that may turn one’s life upside down and make it unpleasant. Your identity might be wrongly recorded and you become a person you do not know. Somebody might steal your identity and practically steal your life by impersonating you. Somebody may steal your document and commit crimes in your name. You may be married to a total stranger you have never met before.
For those who never went through these experiences, it might be difficult for them to comprehend what I am trying to convey, but for those who went through these horrors, no explanation is necessary for them to understand what I am trying to say, for they have lived it.
Today I have brought two South Africans into this House which I wish to introduce. We have Ms Thami Swartbooi. May Thami stand up please and greet the House, yes. Thank you ma’am. Thami took her ID in 1995 and lived a normal life like any of us. She stays in Vereeniging in Gauteng. In 2004 things turned very horrible for her. Another woman, staying a thousand kilometers in Nelson Mandela Bay, stole her
identity and resumed life as Thami Swartbooi. This meant that whatever that woman did, was regarded by law as having done by Thami. I can assure you she did a lot of bad things.
Even when this other woman got married, the law regarded Thami as the one who got married. Thami received summonses of debts she never knew about. Two kids which she never met before were registered as hers in legal documents. She could not officially got married because the law would not allow anybody to marry twice unless in the case of divorce or death. She could not open accounts because she was supposed to be heavily indebted. Her life went into a tailspin and a virtual halt. She lived this horror for 14 years.
Fortunately, we reached to Thami when the story was reported in the media and we gave her back her identity within a period of 48 hours. She is now living as she should and this happened a month ago. [Applause.]
I went to apologise to her a month ago on behalf of the state. Today, I wish to apologise once more in this august House as a sign that we will never allow this to happen to any other woman. We have asked her to become an ambassador of home affairs on identity fraud and fraudulent marriages. We want to work with her to identify women
who are already living in the situation that she went through. She has very humbly agreed to work with us. As to the evil woman that did this to her, we are on a trail, she has to be locked in very soon. Thank you very much Thami. I am very sorry once more.
Chairperson, with regard to fraudulent marriages, annually the department come across an average of 2 000 such fraudulent marriages. From April 2018 to date, the department came across 2 132 fraudulent marriages. Of these 1 060 were truly and indeed fraudulent and the department annulled them. However, 464 were found to be legitimate and the department refused to expunge such marriages from the register. These are called marriages of convenience. There are people in our country who marry for convenience. This happens between a South African and a nonSouth African. The South African is rewarded with huge sums of money and a nonSouth African gain easy citizenship through the marriage.
There is a mistaken believe that when transactions through such marriages have been completed, you just approach home affairs and you demand that the marriage be expunged. I wish to warn people today that home affairs cannot do that. We cannot just expunge a marriage because you no longer need it. If you do not need a
marriage you go to a magistrate or a judge. They must cancel that marriage through normal divorce proceedings and not home affairs.
The marriages that are truly fraudulent like the 1 060, I have spoken about, can happen for three reasons. Firstly, fraud syndicates consisting of home affairs officials and other marriage officers outside home affairs.
Secondly, employment agencies who ask you for your ID because they are going to look for a job for you and you provide everything to them instead of giving you a job; they sell your documents to somebody to marry you without your knowledge.
Thirdly, when there is a duplicate identity like it happened to Thami, when somebody impersonate you.
Of the original 2 132 fraudulent marriages we are still left with
326 which are still investigating.
Our second guest is Ms Esther Sihlabela from Hazyview in Mpumalanga. She has four children, but the records show she has seven children. She does not know the other three children, but they appear on her records nonetheless. What is more heartbreaking is that her last
born son whom is here today - Esther, can you stand up. Yes, ntate [Father.] [Applause.] She is with her son today as you can see, he is 20-year-old. He was born in March 1999, but home affairs could not give him a birth certificate not even an ID right up to the age of 20, because there was a believe that Esther gave birth to another bay boy in December 1999 and it was argued that she could have delivered another baby three months later which biologically is true, but the fact of the matter is that she never delivered in December. This boy who is standing up had no certificate or ID for
20 years. He had to write his matric through affidavits. Even the police could not help Esther.
She on her own and I can tell you she is my hero stood up to do an investigation. Eventually she made a breakthrough. She found out about these three children who are appearing on her documents.
Unfortunately they were not South African. One of them has literally replaced her own son for a period of 20 years.
It is only through co-operation of rogue elements within home affairs that such a thing could happen. Home affairs officials could be placed in this situation. Such co-operation from home affairs can only be secured through a bribe. We are busy following up to find out which scoundrel at home affairs could do such an inhuman act to
put somebody’s life in such terror for 20 years just because they wanted money.
Two weeks ago, after hearing the story of Ms Thami Swartbooi and how we solved it within 48 hours Dr colleague of mine phoned me and told me the story of Esther. That is how I came across her. I called her and we solved her son’s birth date problem within 24 hours and his ID problem within five days. I do not wish this to happen to any South African. As such we are asking both Esther and Thami to be our ambassadors and help us.
We have analysed this problem and as the department came to a conclusion that if we have to deal with this matter of identity fraud, the real solution lies within having everybody having a document right from birth. Hence Chairperson, we are planning with Minister Zweli Mkhize the Minister of Health whereby no child will leave a hospital without a birth certificate, an unabridged one which reflects an ID and who the parents are. Please do not ask me about what am I going to do with runaway fathers? Those are not farther, but just baby makers. So, we are going to go on with this project regardless of them
Out of the 4 000 health facilities in the country, 1 445 can deliver babies. Unfortunately at the present moment, only 391 can issue birth certificates at birth. So, our plan is that all of them and according to this roll out plan, by March 2021 we will have finished connecting 251 health facilities which are simple for 84% for 84 births in our country. By 2023, we will have completed all 1 445 of them.
When this is done, we will call upon all parents, home affairs officials, hospital authorities and you as leaders and other leaders of society, never to allow anybody in South Africa to leave a hospital without a printed an authentic birth certificate.
When this happens, the Ms Swartbooi’s and Ms Sihlabela’s of this world and their children will cease to suffer the horrors that put their lives on hold.
Home affairs, is not only going to rely on proper birth certificates right from the beginning, to stop this forgery and fraud. No, we have already started other measures. The major one is that every home affairs official who has to issue an official document, be it birth certificate, ID, passport, marriage certificate or death certificates can only access the system through their password and
fingerprints. The system is called Biometric Access Control Management System, BCAM. With this system, no home affairs official can ever claim that their password or fingerprints has been stolen. Because that is what they tell us when we confront them with passwords, but nobody can steal your fingerprints. I do not know under what conditions can it ever happen.
Every home affairs official who is empowered to issue these documents will have to register on this biometrics. We are taking this precaution so that in future, I no longer have to introduce the type of women I have introduced to you. However, we are still left with women who are still in this situation and want to be helped to identify and help them.
Hon Chairperson, because this issue of identity is so important to the country and to all South Africans, but the issue of fraud and forgery spoils it. At the dawn of democracy, South Africans were issued a green barcoded ID. Unfortunately, this was easy to forge and easy to fraud as I have indicated.
In 2013, the department introduced a smart ID card which looks like a credit card. I can assure you as I am standing here forging or defrauding a smart ID card is next to impossible. Since 2013, we do
not know any case maybe the thugs are still learning in future, but for now they have not yet found the method. So, every South African needs to have it.
When the department started in 2013, we identified 38 million South Africans who had to migrate from the green ID to the smart card.
Until now, 13 million South Africans have been migrated to the smart ID, but we are still left with 25 million. To this number we add it to our children who turn 16 every year.
There only 412 home affairs offices in the country. Unfortunately issuing a smart ID card, because of its sophistication cannot be done in an ordinary office. You need a special equipment to do so. Unfortunately, out of the 412 offices we only have 193 which can issue the smart ID card. So, we are going to add 26 more to have 219 and continue in that way.
Hon Chairperson, banks in South Africa also want all their clients to also have a smart ID card because they have discovered that it is not easy to forge it. Banks in South Africa lose R50 million per annum to identity fraud. So, they have discovered that when their clients are on a smart ID such fraud does not happen. Hence banks are working with us on a purchasing power parity, PPP, whereby
clients of every bank need not go to home affairs to queue anymore. You just apply online to your bank and then they will call you and then take biometrics and send it to home affairs. We are still in control of that. They just help us.
Unfortunately at the moment, only 13 branches of banks in South Africa can offer this service. Twelve of them are in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. For the other provinces they will have to wait for the next financial year. We will add 25 more bank branches this year and 70 next year.
Chairperson, today we have brought trucks and they are waiting outside. We are giving you an opportunity to apply for your smart ID. Ordinarily, we take 13 days to issue you with a smart ID or a passport, but hon members; I am promising you, if you apply today we will issue you with your smart ID in the next 48 hours. This is possible, because as a Members of Parliament, we are a small number in a confined space. So, it is easy to serve you within 48 hours.
Guests in the gallery can use this service, for anybody can use it. However, I advice you not to do it because you will not be here within the next 48 hours.
What the guests rather do, I will give you the list of the banks you can go to. The Absa Lifestyle in Centurion, FNB Lifestyle in Centurion, Standard Bank in Centurion, FNB the Grove in Pretoria East, Nedbank Arcadia in Arcadia, Pretoria, Absa Towers in Johannesburg CBD, Killarney Standard Bank in Killarney Mall, Standard Bank, Simmons Street in Johannesburg, Lakeview Nedbank in Roodepoort, Nedbank Rivonia in Rivonia, FNB Merchant in Sandton and Standard Bank Canal Walk in Cape Town. For those who stay in far forbidden places like me in Limpopo, sorry for now, wait for the next list of banks.
With regard to digitisation, Chairperson, I want to advice that home affairs have 286 million records in our archives that stretch back from 1900. These are archives of IDs and marriage certificates, etc. Now, these are very important. We have started the job of degitising them. Up to now, we have degitised only 5 million. It is very common at home affairs to get somebody applying to get wolt copies of unabridged documents from 1940 and 1950, etc. We have got them, but unfortunately they are on paper and the ink is starting to fade that is why we are busy degitising them. It will take us quite a number of years, but we have started.
While the Department of Home Affairs is doing identification, but we also do economic development by issuing visas, out of 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations, UN, 75 have got visa free status in South Africa. Of these 16 are in our continent and are Southern African Development Community, SADC, countries. The other 59 are all over the world.
Today, I wish to make this announcement, we are adding seven more countries for visa free status. That is Qatar, United Arab Emirates, UAE, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana, São Tomé and Príncepe.
We will immediately enter into discussion with these countries as to what a visa free regime from them will look like and how we are going to work with them. We still have homework for the three main countries that account for 30% of the population of the world. That is India, China and Nigeria. Today, I am announcing that we are sending we are rather increasing by two and half times the staff in China, India China and Nigeria who are going to process our visas.
The President also announced the issue of E-visa during the two states of the nation addresses. We have started with the E-visa system. We are testing it at Lanseria Airport. We will finish the testing in October; from there we roll it out where you do not have
to get the visa. You just apply and we respond to you via email you rush to the airport and you are in the plane.
With regard to the border management, for now I wish to talk about it. The Border Management Authority Bill was passed by this House and unfortunately it got stuck in the NCOP for the past two years. Our job is now to go and unstuck it because it is very important. Border management is not only about people, it also mages counterfeit goods, stolen cars, hijacked children and all sorts of wrong things that happen in our borders. We are going to try and deal with that.
We are also trying to establish one stop centres at six border posts. That is Beitbridge, Ficksburg, Kopfontein, Lebombo, Oshoek and Maseru. That is between Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana nad Zimbabwe.
With regard to the Government Printing Works, many people believe all state-entities are losing money and cannot be managed. I can today tell you that the state-printing works which is a government under public works is one of the shining stars. It has been funding itself for the past six years. Actually, it sends profits back to Treasury. In the last financial year, after paying its 500
employees, it will hire 105 extra employees, it will purchase equipment to the value of R517 million and still be left with the profit of R153 million which they will send it back to Treasury for all of you. So, we wish to thank the Government Printing Works and we have started helping other countries. Last week we have just signed a relationship with Eswatini. Two weeks ago, I was in Namibia, because we believe we have enough expertise to print documents for them. We drew valuable lessons from experiences of innovators in the ID4Africa.
Now, let me take this opportunity to thank colleagues Deputy Minister for a warm working relationship and for the director- general, DG, and his team for a warm working relationship. Also in the gallery, we have managers from Randburg, Mr Lekalakala and from Pretoria, Ms Ntamela. We also have Ms Mkhupheka from the Scottsburg offices who are our excellent performers. We thank them very much. [Applause.]
Chairperson, building collectively world class home affairs will indeed advance the goal of growing South Africa together; a South Africa of justice, equity and prosperity for all.
I take this opportunity to table for the consideration of this House, the 2019-20 budget of R8,3 billion. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Minister. Hon members, may I just request those of you as well as our guests in the gallery who have your cell phones on, will you please put them on silent or switch them off. They are a disturbance. Hon Minister, I did not want to interrupt you when you were making your inputs, but there were a number of cell phones that suddenly went into some mode of ringing. So, please switch them off or put them on silent.
The next speaker is the hon Bongo.
Adv B T BONGO: House Chair, hon Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, hon Deputy Minister, Mr Njabulo Nzuza, Chairperson of the IEC, Mr Glen Mashinini, Acting CEO represented by Ms Modise, I stand on behalf of the ANC to support this Budget Vote as tabled by the Minister.
Hon Chair, we are meeting in July. July is a very significant month in the history of our country, it marks the birth our struggle icon, Isithwalandwe, our father, hero, a peacemaker and the father of the nation, Baba Mandela.
Centrally to the July month, it reminds us about the supreme sacrifice that Madiba and his generation made for the people of this country to achieve peace, freedom, democracy and justice while reclaiming the dignity of our people.
We can say without fear of contradiction that our liberation struggle has produced much of value and lessons that many people in the country and in the world can learn from.
South Africa needs to draw the same values and lessons as we speak directly to the challenges confronted South Africans in general and confronting the Department of Home Affairs in particular.
Under the apartheid regime with its Bantustan offspring, the main objective of the Department of Home Affairs was to control black people and deny them their citizenship, identity, dignity and a freedom of movement.
The National Democratic Revolution as led by the ANC seeks to build a society with an improved quality of life for all citizens. The ANC in its 54th National Conference held in December deliberated on the state of Home Affairs and raised concerns about the presence of undocumented migrants in the Republic which poses both economic and
security threat in the country. Congress went further with imperial evidence that the majority of asylum seekers in the country do not qualify for refugee status and protection but rather they are here for economic activities.
It deliberated on legislation that needs to be undertaken and it deliberated on the access and acknowledges the initiative taken by that department in modernising and developing a single identity system which is based on biometrics to be integrated as part of the whole system of the justice cluster of intergraded management system to fight crime.
The Congress of the ANC recognised the perception that arises in the process of this that aligned itself to issues of xenophobia and and resolved that we need awareness programme to make sure that citizens are educated and society is educated on this narrow nationalism.
The ANC support this Budget Vote because on what the Minister has said, the implementation of the policy of the ANC, it is heavily detailed on what the Minister has already raised. The mandate of the Home Affairs meant transforming Home Affairs into a modern, digital secure custodian of national identity responding to the present and future needs of the circumstances and run with professional
officials and make sure that we follow the National Development Plan, NDP, as it was outlined by the ANC.
The Department of Home Affairs is a very important department. It makes four critical contributions in the country, among others is an enabling economic development and it contributes to security, effective service delivery and supporting governance and administration.
However, the Budget as it was outlined, it went down. The allocation of 2019-20 financial year is R8,339 billion in comparison to the 2018-19 financial year, it is adjusted with R9,047 billion. If you look in rands, it is about R707,7 million, but when you look at the inflation rates, it is just over a billion rand.
The Department of Home Affairs will be focussing on repositioning itself as a modern and secure organisation; improving and expanding client interface services and establishing and operationalise border management system.
The Home Affairs IT modernisation programme is currently underway and it will radically improve the service delivery for our people.
In the context of 2019 having been declared by His Excellency, President Ramaphosa as the year of action, the Department of Home Affairs could be introducing a world-class e-Visa regime. The implantation of this e-Visa regime by the Department of Home Affairs which is at a functional stage, it is expected to be tested late this year, 2019, with a full production that will take place in November. It is a serious enabler for the tourist growth in the country. This world class e-Visa will provide for easy and a secure access to the country for visitors.
This system will enable tourist to apply for visa online resulting into quicker turnaround on time for visa adjudication. This will bolster our tourist figure and create economic activities and job opportunities, particularly for the youth of our country.
The border management agency should thus be strengthened and the department should play a crucial role in ensuring that the strategy developed by the department to document everyone who comes to a country is properly implemented.
The department should strengthen its management of asylum seekers. There should be a strict adherence of the International Convention and protocol in processing applications as you know that we are a
signatory of a lot of UN Convention and so on and so fourth. The performance of the two entities which we have raised - one of which is IEC, I have raised that we would like to congratulate the IEC for the work it has done in ensuring that it deliver an election that did not cause any civil war in the country. My experience of having visited many countries after an election – a civil war erupts because of the systems that are developed by the IEC.
We also congratulate the IEC for the award that they got at the United Nations Public Service Awards in the category of combating corruption and crime in the public service. The ANC support this Budget Vote.
Asinanzondo, asinamona, siyayidumisa i-ANC.
Thank you very much.
Mr J J MC GLUWA: House Chairperson, the Constitutional Court, like all South Africans, has instructed the state, in this case, the Department of Home Affairs, to uphold the dignity of all South African citizens and their families.
The former Minister of State Security, hon Bongo, should therefore not have been allowed to participate in this Budget debate seems to his numerous allegations of corruption and bribery against him. Last week, the court gave the department two years to amend foreign spous Visa laws which require foreign spouses or children of South African citizens to leave the country to renew their Visas.
Although this is a victory, the challenge will, however, remain if the department takes its own time to fix legislation that could result in the separation of foreign spouses from their families, and once again making refugees and asylum seekers the scapegoats of the department’s failure. The corruption, bribery, wrongful and unnecessary rejections, and the delaying tactics on the part of officials at Home Affairs have resulted in several frivolous court cases.
The Deputy Minister, Nzuza, has been tasked with overseeing and driving three distinct areas of operation within the department namely refugees and asylum seekers management, the Moetapele Improvement Campaign, and legal services. When it comes to legal services, however, the Constitutional Court, on many occasions, described your department’s litigation as obstructive, floppy,
shocking with no conscious towards refugees and asylum seekers. These comments are damning indictment on this state department.
The placements of legal services specialists in the core branches of the Department of Home Affairs are, in your own words Deputy Minister, operating under severe constraint and lack of personnel.
They have cost this department millions. Now, the same constrained, understaffed and overwhelmed legal department has to defend the legal action and blunders of Department of Home Affairs and in turn becoming a laughing stock again.
Deputy Minister, I saw that you were in Durban on Monday. I would like to emphasise that our presence and assistance to the community out there should come from Home Affairs, from the [Inaudible.] itself. We can’t have a situation where people suddenly get help when the Minister intervenes. Our office cannot, every time, call upon Mr Mckay or Moeketsi for people to be helped. We say that it is a systematic problem; the problem is SITA. The SITA must come to the party and assist us as far as computers are concerned.
Just this afternoon I joined a colleague and stood for almost an hour outside and could not be helped. We have received a budget of over R8 billion for 2018-19 financial year. Both Government Printing
Works and the Independent Electoral Commission have presented their Annual Performance Plan.
The DA would like to assure you, Minister, that we will proactively monitor the procurement renewal processes of contracts under the department as well as the investigations related to Visa facilitation as well as the National Identification System and the Fixed Based Operator under FireBlade Aviation at OR Tambo International Airport.
Minister, this includes allegations of state capture and early naturalisation of the Gupta family. Watch this space, hon Bongo. We will do so because we believe in an open, transparent and principled government. The DA is encouraged by the many Home Affairs officials who are working tirelessly to make the department work for all.
The DA praises all the Advocate Vanaras of this world, hon Bongo, who advocate justice for all. The DA warns corrupt officials who prey and exploit innocent immigrants. Our vision is to see Home Affairs working again. The DA pledges to ensure South Africa achieves an effective, efficient and co-ordinated boarder safety plan - something the ruling ANC cannot do.
To attract foreign nationals with scarce skills and business to South Africa - something the ANC ruling party cannot do. To subscribe at all times to the independence of the IEC - something the ruling ANC cannot do. We will remain resolute, open, polite, and dedicated.
Minister, corruption is a continued problem within the Department of Home Affairs and at South Africa’s borders. In May 2016, 15 people, including a Deputy Director of this department for fraud. Similarly, in March 2017, 18 people were arrested in connection with fraud and corruption at the Ficksburg border including 10 police and officials of Home Affairs. In 2018 the former Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, lied under oath about the Fireblade saga. Last but not least, in 2019 the ANC gave South Africans the middle finger by electing Advocate Bongani Bongo as Chairperson of this committee. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr V PAMBO: Minister, in a classic style of a self-hating black, you brought here today two black women who have been lynched by your department to come parade their wounds and pain. They have been victimised by your department and you see no problem with putting a face to inefficiency by using black women. You must be ashamed to come here and address us after what you have done.
Honourable chairperson, the EFF rejects ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Hon members, order!
Mr V PAMBO: Hon Chairperson, the EFF rejects the Budget Vote of the Department of Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs has been one of the most cruel and hellish state departments since the advent of democracy towards Africans. It has been problematic because of the inability of the ruling elite to properly locate the strategic role of the department in advancing the developmental ideals of the country and the continent.
If properly located, this department could be the most strategic department for our renewed focus to foster Pan African unity and development. We, as the EFF, are unapologetically Pan Africanist in character, in posture and in action. It is for this reason that we must make it known, although it is obviously clear, that the Department of Home Affairs is not Afrocentric, and oftentimes actively undermines the goal for a united, borderless Africa, and this is evident in the decline of asylum seekers who have been processed between the years 2009 and 2019.
This is so because it has become clear to everyone across the continent that South Africa has become anti-African in policy and practice. And this became evident in the President’s state of the nation address speech, where he said absolutely nothing about Africa and the goal towards African unity.
The EFF will push that South Africa must lead efforts for a borderless Africa, with one currency and one common language. We now have a Minister [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: Swahili
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, order, hon members! Order!
Mr V PAMBO: We now have a Minister who is openly Afrophobic. Who, while at the Department of Health, foolishly said our public health is collapsed by the influx of fellow Africans. Minister Motsoaledi failed spectacularly at the Department of Health. He will surely fall and fail black people across the diaspora at this ministry too, and will lead a massive campaign against our fellow Africans.
The reality is that you will never find white people at Lindela Repatriation Centre; it is always African people who are chucked out of this country by the Department of Home Affairs. This confirms the view held across the continent that South Africa is an antiblack, xenophobic state only too willing to inflict the most unimaginable pain on black bodies.
In the immediate, the Department of Home Affairs must stop the practice of treating African people from other countries as if they suffer from leprosy. They are our siblings – our brothers and sisters and must be made to feel at home here.
How is it that an African country continues to be Eurocentric and continues to undermine the children of Sobukwe, of Biko and of Winnie Mandela? Minister, we will remember you for who you are; a man who stood here and further humiliated black women. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: House Chairperson; hon Minister, Deputy Minister, MPs, the officials from the Department of Home Affairs, IEC and Government Printing Works, just a few weeks ago on the 8 May 2019, South Africans made their voices heard through the ballot box. The IFP thanks each and every voter who supported our democracy by
casting their vote, the ultimate act of patriotism. We thank the voters for giving the IFP an increased mandate and we pledge to serve the electorate to the very best of our abilities.
However, it would be remiss of me not to mention our concern with the struggling nature of the elections passed. The allegations of indelible ink disappearing, faulty zip-zip machines, people voting more than once and other shortcomings had placed at risk the very credibility of our electoral system. We are however grateful that the IEC has already started looking at new technology to replace our old voting systems and we hope that Treasury will give them support in this regard.
Seventeen years ago, the then Minister of Home Affairs, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, appointed a commission of inquiry into South Africa’s electoral system. The commission agreed that our electoral system lacked accountability, and a mixed system was proposed. Why do we still talk about the Van Zyl Slabbert commission, 17 years later, in 2019? This year’s elections were mired by dodgy characters, appearing on party lists to be MPs and MPLs, most notably sitting on this side of the House. Not you, Mr Lekota! [Laughter.]
A genuine outcry from the public that they wanted to see greater accountability from our electoral system. Also because at the time, Cabinet had promised to implement the recommendations at a later stage, but that later stage never arrived. So, it is our hope, hon Minister, that you will in fact reopen this debate because electoral reform is needed.
Minister, your department faces many severe challenges. Whether it is the traumatising long queues at Home Affairs office, or computers that are offline for days on end, or the critical vacancies to go unfilled, or the applications to lie unattended for weeks and months and years. I am quite shocked today to hear that MPs can get a smart card ID within 48 hours when in fact for citizens it will take perhaps 48 months to get that documentation. So, we should be speeding up services for everyone, not just for MPs, but for all our citizens.
Your act of patriotism, Minister, must be that you fix what is broken within the Department of Home Affairs. When the Department of Home Affairs fails, it fails the most vulnerable in our society.
When Home Affairs fails, it fails pensioners; it fails vulnerable children; it fails young people who cannot access job opportunities. When Home Affairs fails, the consequences are dire. When Home
Affairs fails, it fails people like Elize Marcha O’Brien. She is currently married to an Egyptian national, somebody she has never met. When her fraudulent marriage was discovered, her real relationship ended, as Elize could not prove her innocence.
After three years, Home Affairs has still not annulled that fraudulent marriage. Her life has been ruined. The Minister spoke earlier about squanderers at the Department of Home Affairs who are corrupt but the IFP believes we need severe jail sentences for those who sell South African paperworks for a few hundred rands. In the same way, the IFP believes that we need to secure our porous borders and deal with lawless elements, who are flouting our laws.
Just recently, South Africans were left reeling when our own SA Police Service offices were attached by undocumented migrants in Hillbrow. In December 2017, you hon Minister, when you were still the Minister of Health told us that 60% of babies being born in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital were from other countries. Just last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura told us that his administration needs a better plan to deal with illegal migration into his province.
Clearly, your government realised you’ve got a challenge, but as it is always the case with the ANC-led government, you seem not to have a plan. Throughout South Africa, even outside of the precinct of Parliament, you find businesses operated by undocumented migrants who flout our laws: They do not pay tax; they do not pay VAT; and they pay their staff less than minimum wage.
Out trucking industry is in crisis. Lives have been lost because South African job seekers are saying they are being shunned in favour of undocumented migrants who can be paid less. Let me be clear today: What I am speaking about has got nothing to do with being unAfrican or xenophobia. It has to do with the rule of law; it has to do with the Constitution and it has to do with being patriotic. When they mention the insecurity of our state, our citizens are threatened. We need to act.
Last month, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, signed an executive order to withhold visas from foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria. His was an act of patriotism. He put the people of Nigeria first. This budget before us needs to fix many problems. Some will be easily fixable, but others will require real political will and real patriotism. The IFP looks forward to working with you, hon Minister, and to partner with you in fixing
the Department of Home Affairs and putting South Africans first. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mnr F J MULDER: Agb Voorsitter, Minister Motsoaledi, Adjunkminister Nzuza, lede van die Kabinet teenwoordig, lede, amptenare en gaste, dit is vir my ’n voorreg om as lid van die Vryheidsfront Plus van die Nasionale Vergadering saam met elkeen van u Suid Afrika en sy mense te kan dien.
South Africa is a community of communities, a country with 11 official languages and a coat of arms bearing the words in Khoi, literally meaning, "Diverse people unite.” It addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between thought and action. On a collective scale, it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride — unity in diversity
Article 3 of the South African constitution states that there is a common citizenship, that all South African citizens are equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizens which the Department for Home Affairs is the custodian of the identity and status of citizens of South Africa. On the 5 and 6 July 2012, the
Department of Arts and culture hosted a, ‘cohesion’ summit in Soweto which I and other FF-Plus colleagues attended.
Today, seven years later, we must ask ourselves what the level of social cohesion is and if nation building is still on the South African agenda. The FF-Plus is concerned about the fact that several acting positions in the department are outstanding, including the position of director-general since august 2018; the deputy director- general civic services since August 2017; as well as the deputy director-general of information systems and counter corruption since late 2014. These are critical positions.
Reports are received from time to time that some South African citizens has unsuccessfully tried to attain an identity documents and passport. The consequences of such inefficiency can be worrying. Hon Chair, to the Minister: The lack of an integrated approach to border management and inadequate provision of acceptable port infrastructure will have to be rectified. The Border Management Bill is still with the NCOP and was supposed to be operational in the 2017-2018 financial year.
The sixth Parliament will hopefully revive the Bill. The department is underfunded for the 2019-2020 financial year, with a budget
allocation of R8 339 billion in comparisons with the 2018-l9 adjusted allocation of R9 047 billion. It shows nominal decrease of R707,7 million, and with the cost of inflation the budget shows a real decrease of R1,1 million or 12,38% from the adjusted budget the previous year.
Hon Minister, through you Chair, the FF-Plus urges you to get this department that has been in existence since 31 May 1910 back on track as the custodian of the identity and the status of citizens in South Africa. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, hon Advocate Bongo, the Whip of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, hon Mosa Chabane, members of the portfolio committee and distinguished guests, we are called to serve. We are called to do all in our power and capabilities to serve the people. The people come first they are the reason we exists as a department, we are not doing the people a favour for, in fact, we are offering a service that they are deserving as protected by the Constitution.
The services we offer our people are the sole responsibility of Home Affairs and as such this responsibility requires us to be at our best at all times. We have no option but to be the best because it is only the Home Affairs that can affirm or grant citizenship to foreign nationals. We are the only ones who can grant non-South Africans authority to enter or leave South Africa. We are the only ones who can allow non-South Africans to access, to come and work, study and to do business in South Africa through our visa regime.
It is only Home Affairs that can grant asylum seekers a refugee status in the Republic. It is only Home Affairs that can designate a port of entry to facilitate movement of people and goods in and out of the country opening a gateway for international trade. These are tasks that we must execute with a high level of consciousness. A compromised immigration system results in a compromised country. Our immigration system has a direct impact on our national security and the economy. Chairperson, we have a huge responsibility in our shoulders to maintain a world class immigration system. That is in line with the theme of this Budget Vote which is building a world class Home Affairs. If we are to do this, we must learn to convert themes into actions and dreams into reality. To do this, we must be frank and open. If we want a world class Home Affairs with world
class immigration systems we must be comfortable to discuss discomforting issues.
The Greek mathematician teaches us that, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. To solve our problems we must be upfront, frank and direct. South Africa is today a great place to live in and many people in the world aspire to live, work and to be South Africans. We have developed laws that are humane, business friendly and go beyond just conforming to international standards on immigration to allow people to access South Africa. We do not deny them access outside of the laws. We give refugees the same rights as citizens except for the right to vote. They have access to our social services such as basic health and social grants. We do not run refugee camps, but we allow integration of refugees to local communities. The Southern African Development Community, Sadc, countries with the exception of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, do not require a visa, but only a passport to visit South Africa. We do not deny foreign nationals to work, study and to do business in South Africa provided they comply with the Immigration Act and related legislation.
The white paper on international migration of 20l7 contends that international migration in general is beneficial if it is managed in
a way that it is efficient, secure and respectful of human rights. In general, nations flourish where people with different origins, skills, resources and cultures are able to live and trade peacefully. Despite these open and friendly channels of immigration, we still have those who enter our country illegally undermining the sovereignty of our country. The issue of illegal immigrants is not supposed to be a difficult issue because those who seek to come to South Africa must do so incompliance with the laws of our country.
In the operation conducted in Marian Hill and Tongaat Toll Plaza between 1 and 7 July 20l9, we arrested 39 foreign nationals who were driving trucks without permits and legal status to be in the country. One employer has already been charged and more arrests are imminent. We do this by working with the police. We do not have a police department within the Department of Home Affairs, hon member, you must check your facts straight before coming to such platforms.
We will curb the appetite of employers to employ undocumented foreign nationals all in the name of profits. They must know that when they break the law and employ illegal immigrants they will face the consequences and our inspectorate unit will leave no stone unturned. The major reason why they do this is because the seek to maximize their profits by abusing foreign nationals by paying them below market value salaries because they know that they are in the
country illegally. This can no longer be allowed to continue. We will fight the corruption that allows people and goods to enter the country illegally. We have a serious responsibility to capacitate our inspectorate and allocate the necessary funding in order to enforce immigration laws that decisively deal with illegal immigration and its impact on our economy, social security spend and national security.
Chairperson, we are moving forward with the one-stop border post project. This will be implemented in the six priority land ports between South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. These will promote intraregional trade between our countries and will reduce and deal with elicit trade as well as illegal movement of people within our borders. The one-stop border post, OSBP, project will also reduce congestion and improve turnaround times in our points of entry. This project is in line with our plan to build a world class Home Affair. We do this with other countries that we share boarders with. So, we do talk to our African brothers contrary to the misleading statements. Of course, boarder movements will be enabled by this project to also provide a legal permitting route for Sadc to economic migrants. We will also place our efforts towards improving efficiency in our refugee reception centres. We have to speedily conclude the adjudication
process of asylum seekers who seek refugee status. We are located in
30 missions abroad where we process visa applications and offer civil applications. Maybe the reduction numbers on refugees is also part of our ability to process their requests much quicker.
We are now moving towards a new era that will bolster economic growth and create jobs for our country. We are moving forwards with the implementation of the e-visa regime. I think it is proper that we take fellow hon members through this process. This regime will place technology at the centre of our operations by making it easy yet secure to enter South Africa. The e-visa regime will see tourists and visitors to South African applying for their visas online and these will be sent to a central adjudication and approval whilst our visitors sit at the comfort of their homes. The e-visa regime will result to the issuing of virtual visas. The paperless virtual visa will combat visa fraud. This will open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of our visa systems. The e- visa regime will have huge tourism growth implications for the country.
The e-visa regime is anticipated to go on full production in November 20l9. We are not talking of something that we are not in the process of doing. This is something that we are already doing.
The department currently runs an Advanced Passenger Processing System. This allows us to see and target undesirable visitors before they even board a flight from their destinations. This gives us capacity to stop undesirable visitors for purposes of national security. We are now going further by establishing the national targeting centre that will do risk assessments on visitors after they have boarded flights as a secondary control system. This is critical to ensure that undesirable and risky visitors are kept at bay as we are creating a secure environment for the country.
The world systems will work with world class infrastructure like the e-gates. The National Border Targeting Centre will be used to profile trusted travellers. These travellers will then be registered in our e-gates systems which will open for them automatically as they present themselves on our airports of entry. These are world class systems that are linked with international policing and security. We are building a modern home affairs, Chair. We are moving forward with our e-gates system in partnership with Airports Company South Africa, Acsa. After we would have registered these trusted travellers, this would mean that bona fide South Africans citizens who are not flagged on the stop-risk engines will now be part of our trusted travellers which will drastically ease human
traffic for citizens giving us more capacity to speedily handle visitors in our airports.
The trusted traveller’s security vetted by our systems will be able to check themselves in and out of the country using the e-gates which will register them on arrival and departure. This is in line with world standards. As a result of this technology our airports will now rank higher within the international community making it a desirable destination to do business. Chairperson, we are building a world class Home Affairs with world class immigration systems. We will never fail. This budget will enable us to do so. Thank You.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, hon members, according to the 2014/19 strategy plan of the department of home affairs, it is mandated to efficiently determine and safeguard the identity and status of citizens as well as to regulate immigration to ensure security, promote development and fulfil South Africa’s international obligation.
The department has sadly failed to execute these mandates effectively. Take for example, the complaints of women who have discovered that there were married illegally and unknowingly to strangers they have never met. Some victims have been fighting with
home affairs for years to have their marital status corrected but the department has not helped them. Some are unable to get employment or open bank accounts because their proper marital status cannot be verified.
Chairperson if a South African woman discovers that she was fraudulently married to a stranger, what is preventing the department from tracing which officials were involved in facilitating this deceit? Surely the department should have a team that properly investigates these cases of fraud. Those on duty should face the full might of the law. It is unacceptable that women should be trapped in a fraudulently marriage sometimes for years without assistance from the department.
The story that the hon Minister told this afternoon about Thamil Swaartbos, is a classic proof that if home affairs officials are willing they can assist women who are trapped in such relationships. We heard that Thamil was assisted within 48 hours after suffering the horror and humiliation and harassment for fourteen years. Now the question is why can’t this be done for all women who are in a similar situation?
They are hundreds if not thousands of women who are still experiencing similar abuse and harassment. Secondly the movement control systems also leave much to be desired as our borders remain porous. Many illegal immigrants who get involved in criminal activities remain untraceable by investigators because their finger prints are not on record. This leaves the police with cases they are unable to complete as they cannot trace these criminals and punish them for their crimes.
So want to as ACDP to call on the Minister to ensure that our borders are tightened, they are tight controls at our borders so that all guests and visitors to our beautiful country are properly documented and if those among them will commit crimes, so that it may be easy for our police to hunt them. Thank you.
Ms T A KHANYILE: Chairperson, in a constituency with 19 schools with roughly 16 000 learners they are about two hundred learners who do have birth certificates and most of these children are South Africans. Thousands of children who have been treated like nobody do not enjoy education because they undocumented and have thus placed a burden on teachers. No south African child should have to leave hospital without a birth certificate.
Therefore, the department of home affairs must move fast to ensure that labour wards have in house officials. The issue of insufficient capacity, must be addressed immediately. Last week, hundreds of people were turned away at the Isipingo home affairs as it can only serve 80 people per day. This shows that there is no innovation and appetite to serve. The ANC government is failing venerable citizens of this country. Nomvula Mtshali from Standerton in Mpumalanga was left with her father as infant and has been waiting for 31 years for a birth certificate. This government is talking about a new dream yet Nomvula’s quest for a simple birth certificate seemingly remains just that a dream. Despite anecdotal evidence a referral letter from social department a certificate from church and her father’s death certificate, Nomvula still remains without her birth certificate for more than 31 years.
I emailed this information to the DBG Mr Thomas Gama on the 28 of March 2019. Up until today I have not received a response. If I a Member of Parliament mandated to conduct an oversight cannot get proper service from this department, how can we expect ordinary citizens of this country to access that service? Today chairperson, many South African women are married to husbands they have never met.
These women are struggling to find identity, are denied an opportunity to find work because some of their so called husbands are blacklisted. It took the ANC government 14 years to get Ms Nomathamsanqa Booi fake marriage cancelled. She further discovered that they were two children she did not know, registered in her name. Following her meeting with Minister Motsoledi, he committed to have her issued with her smart card ID within 48 hours. We congratulate you Ms Booi for finally being liberated for waiting after 14 years. The big question remains, what were the reasons and criteria used by the Minister to commit to issuing Ms Booi with a smart card ID within 48 hours?
When we as a portfolio committee were informed that they are 906 remaining cases of victims who have not been assisted. If the Minister is serious about this corruption, whereby ID copies and signatures are fraudulently submitted as in Ms Booi’s case, it is enough reason to accelerate the issuing of smart card ID’s to the aforementioned cases. If he fails to do this, these women just like Ms Booi will have to wait for a further 14 years if not forever.
Government needs to act at a pace of a bullet train in ensuring that all South African women are properly documented and enjoy equal benefits of being citizens of this beautiful country.
Chairperson, the government fails to conduct oversight and members of the community continue to suffer at the hands of officials who manage those offices like they are running their tuck-shop. On the
18 of June I received a call in Govan Bheki municipality recent, that their home affairs offices were locked at eleven o’clock. When I contacted one of the office managers, he further advised and further confirmed also that the officials who had the office keys was on leave and they were waiting for him to bring the keys, driving from Bethal to Secunda which is more than 60 kilometres away. I urge the Minister to investigate this matter and address it accordingly, it is only and only the DA government that will ensure that South African citizens, young and old are properly documented. I thank you.
Mr J J MAAKE: Madam Chairperson,
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon members,order, hon Mokwele, order.
Mr J J MAAKE: Madam Chairperson, I think I have been listening carefully to the speakers from the oppositions and it seem as if all problems that exist in South Africa belong to the ANC. Listening very carefully, I have never had any of them saying we need to work
together to solve the problems that South Africa faces, ooh my apology the IFP said...
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member Maake, please take your sit, okay, you will remain standing there is no problem, hon McGluwa, you are on your feet.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Thank you Chairperson, I would want you ...
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Mokwele.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: I want you to request hon JJ to speak loauder we can’t hear him.
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Continue hon JJ.
Mr J J MAAKE: No problem. [Laughter] I was thinking that standing and crying on the podium, crying, mourning, hauling and winching won’t solve the problems that we have here. As it has been said already that whilst under apartheid, the main objective of the Department of Home Affairs was to control black people and deny them their citizenship, identity, dignity and freedom of movement. Ours
is to ensure that every South African especially the poor, experience an improvement in their quality of life. [Applause]
With everything having been said by those comrades who spoke before me, I’m singling out comrades, not everybody that spoke.
It might be appropriate in relation to this topic, to start with this poem by Taonga Zulu, it reads as follows:
Born 2 000 km North, Travelled to the South Shores, Heart planted in South Africa.
However, division was planted before, This foreign concept of borders, People ironically adore.
Heart planted in South Africa, But born 2 000 km North,
So a foreigner. Who were we
Before someone else decided We were other?
It’s a gift to be born of a people, whose wonderful heritage stretches so far, if you do not get service from Home Affairs, you have nowhere to go. We are Africans; Africa remembers who you are.
Chairperson, the mandate mends the transformation of Home Affairs into a modern, digital, secure custodian of national identity, responding to the present and future needs and circumstances, and run by professionals, operating in a highly secure environment to protect the records of the nation within the government systems. In line with the NDP, Home Affairs makes four critical contributions to the nation, enabling economic development; contributing to national security; enabling effective service delivery; and supporting governance and administration.
At the ANC 54th National Conference, the ANC committed itself to the positioning of Home Affairs to be the backbone of security, service delivery and the developmental state. Under the Apartheid regime, the main objective of the Department of Home Affairs was to control our people and deny them the right to citizenship, identity, and freedom of movement among other injustices.
With utmost pride and humility, the department has been transformed and services are delivered efficiently and effectively. While
immigration is about the enforcement of laws, rules, and regulations, it is of critical and strategic importance that it be anchored and aligned to the promotion of economic development, jobs creation and trade investments in South Africa and within the SADC Region, the African countries and the rest of the world.
Chairperson, the development state must be built in a better Africa and a better world. The imperative is therefore to balance the need for economic, cultural and social development of the country against its security needs and the integrity of our state and society.
Security must include security of the country, communities and each individual including foreigners and immigrant communities who are part of South Africa. Social cohesion includes the integration of immigrant communities into South African life to enrich and grow the society.
Chairperson, I also think to myself about ports of entry and people who are working in these ports. What would happen if they stop working? I also think how the Apartheid regime instituted coup d’état in Lesotho, just by stopping work at the ports.
I also remember when bakeries from South Africa would deliver bread every morning to Swaziland; the bakeries would be queuing at the
borders. What would have happened if there was a stoppage of services at the port of entry? Swaziland received from chappies to mielie mielie from South Africa… [Laughter], everyday the bakeries where queuing at the borders. As our Deputy Minister has said if one doesn't or can't have services that are supplied by the Home Affairs, there is nowhere else that they can get services.
The implementation of an E-Visa regime by the Department of Home Affairs, which is at functional testing stage, expected to be implemented out in July 2019 and full production by early November 2019 is a serious enabler for tourism growth. This World Class Visa regime as we said will provide for easy, efficient, yet secure access to the country for visitors. This system will enable tourists to apply for their visa’s online resulting to a quicker turnaround time on visa adjudication. This will bolster our tourism figures and create new Economic and Job opportunities for the youth in particular.
Madam Chairperson, I would also like to say that, in terms the port of entries, I always wonder why Home Affairs is not taken as people doing essential work. I have already said that if the port is closed for Swaziland and Lesotho, then we are talking about people’s life. Essential service means that when people’s live are affected, some
of these things must be taken as essential services which something that need to be debated and maybe a decision taken on that. We definitely as the ANC without any doubt support this Budget Vote.
Ms T I LEGWASE: Hon House Chair, hon Deputy Minister, hon Minister and hon members, not forgetting hon guests in the gallery.
Chairperson, the strategic purpose of the Department of Home Affairs is to effectively and efficiently determine and safeguard the identity and status of citizens. It must also regulate immigration to ensure security, promote development and fulfil South Africa’s international obligations.
Home Affairs is the backbone of the national security, service delivery and citizen development since it is the custodian in the unique identity of all citizens and documented foreigners residing in South Africa. Home Affairs has a responsibility to make sure that all South Africans have identities and statuses.
Furthermore, Home Affairs must maintain a credible and secure nation’s population register must maintain a credible and secure nation’s population’s register, supply enabling documents to citizens as well as foreign nationals. Home Affairs plays a decisive role as the backbone of the developmental state and is central to
enabling security and service delivery. It plays a crucial role in enabling all South Africans to proudly claim their citizenship, their identity and their dignity.
The department must, therefore, balance its security and service delivery functions and develop strong ties with communities.
Hon Chair, any evaluation of the performance of the department must be assessed against the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, of the ANC government. The document guides the programmes and ensures that there is a comprehensive response to the challenges of the current conjuncture.
The Presidency’s 20-year review of 2014 and the National Planning Commission’s 2011 diagnostic report highlight that poverty, inequality and unemployment continue to negatively affect the lives of many people. Too few people have work, investment is too slow and education lags behind our requirements.
The weak state of the economy impedes our efforts to reach our developmental goals. The second phase of our democratic transition calls for bold and decisive steps to place the economy on a
qualitatively different path that eliminates poverty, creates jobs and sustainable livelihoods and substantively reduces inequality.
This requires a radical socioeconomic transformation and a sustained focus on addressing uneven quality of service delivery. The key areas that Home Affairs responds to in terms of the medium-term strategic work are effectively defending, protecting, securing and managing our borders, and further ensuring that identities of all persons in the country are known, secured and streamlining regulations to reduce the burden of importing core and critical skills that are needed for the economy.
Hon Chair, in securing an effective and efficient management of immigration, South Africa is a signatory to international conventions and protocols as per the United Nations, UN, Convention of Rights of Refugees of 1951 and Organisation of African Unity, OAU, Convention of 1969 on the protection of rights of refugees and asylum seekers. It is very cognisant of our international and moral obligation towards meeting these obligations.
South Africa is also one of the largest receiving states for refugees and asylum seekers in the world. In this regard we have an obligation to ensure that all asylum seekers are issued with valid
documentation enabling them to return to the country legally as well as speedily reviewing decisions that have been found to be unfounded and manifestly unfounded.
Extraordinary measures employed in finalising applications for asylum seekers such as improving information technology, extending operating hours, opening refugees’ reception offices on Saturdays, improving filing systems and the queue management.
The Department of Home Affairs must also revisit permit conditions and put an effective mechanism in place to ensure that they create a balanced and acceptable degree of protection of the labour law. This must, however, be done to not affect other sectors of the economy such as tourism and other labour intensive sectors.
There must also be better co-ordination between the Department of Home Affairs and law enforcement agencies to improve the implementation of the Immigration Act. This must be done to ensure that asylum seekers’ and refugees’ entry and their movement within the republic are well handled and their whereabouts are well-known.
The Department of Home Affairs must develop a system for monitoring application timeframes. Hon members, the mandate has meant the
transformation of Home Affairs into a modern digitally secure custodian of national identity responding to the present and future needs and circumstances, and run by professionals operating in a highly secure environment to protect the records of the nation within the government system.
In line with the National Development Plan, NDP, Home Affairs makes four critical contributions that have already been mentioned by my fellow comrades. The transformation of Home Affairs is about ensuring that it is an essential pillar in the pursuit of these four critical areas and a reliable partner for ordinary people, government departments and the private sector in pursuit of these goals that are so central to the security of the nation.
Chairperson, like the previous comrades have already mentioned, the ANC’s 54th National Conference in December 2017 deliberated on the state of Home Affairs as a key functionary of the state. The conference raised its concerns over presence of undocumented migrants in the republic which causes both an economic and security threat to the country. The conference went on to cite empirical evidence that the majority of asylum seekers do not qualify for refugee status and protection, but are rather economic migrants.
It deliberated on these challenges relating to legislation regulating access to citizenship by foreign nationals and acknowledged the initiative of the department that embarked on modernisation and development of a single national identity system which is based on biometrics to be also used as well as integrated justice system to fight crime more effectively.
The conference clearly articulated the need to reconsider policy relating to centres for asylum seekers during consideration of their statuses. Concurrently, the ANC recognises perceptions that arise during the process and calls for awareness programmes to combat xenophobia and to educate society against narrow nationalism.
The conference welcomed stakeholder forum of the department as a demonstration of the people governing as per freedom charter. While immigration is about enforcement of laws, rules and regulations; it is of critical and strategic importance that it be anchored and aligned to the promotion of economic development, job creation and trade investment in South Africa and within Southern African Development Community, SADC, region. The African nation and ... [Time expired.] Thank you.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Chairperson, I would like to start of by saying that the Department of Home Affairs carries an important responsibility in terms of completing our democracy. Enshrined in our Constitution at Section 19(b) is the right of citizens to vote and stand in elections to any of the legislative bodies founded in the Constitution. And this right was recognised earlier on and Home Affairs was given the task to draft a system that would enable us to afford the opportunity to do this to all citizens of the Country.
As things stand, the present Electoral Act is inconsistent with the Constitution because it grants citizens the right to stand for public office only as individuals, only in local government. But the Constitution says that to stand in public office and if elected to take their positions in anyone of the legislative bodies founded under the Constitution which means that people are entitled to stand for provincial as well as national as independents. To the extent that we have made this promise to the citizens of our country but that we are not fulfilling it we are denying people the promises of democracy that we made when we achieved democracy and we must correct this because Section 2 of the Constitution makes quiet clear that any Act that is in consisted with the Constitution is null and void.
We can no longer afford to risk this and we do need to act on this very soon. We, Cope, will approach again this House to present in this House a Bill that will make it possible for us to correct the Electoral Act.
The second point I would like to make the reason we are in here is because we have a right to be here, nobody can stop us from being here and to do that. Secondly, hon Minister I think the points that you were making about the corrections that are being made at Home Affairs, and some of the critical advance actions that are being taken are very good, hopefully that they will continue to be more powerful than what they are at the present time. However, we must not forget what lies behind because [Time expired.] but you know, Chairperson, arg no.
Mr M NYHONTSO: Chairperson, the reality on the ground is that Home Affairs documents ... sorry Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T FROLICK): Are you looking for your Home Affairs documents? [Laughter.]
Mr M NYHONTSO: As Pan Africanist, Chairperson, we are for the abolishment of borders and establishment of the united states of Africa. However, with this we are no means promoting ...
... izinto ezi ezingafanelekanga ezenzeka kwisebe lethu.
Chairperson, the PAC supports Budget Vote 5. [Interjections.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, the NFP welcomes and supports the report of the Department of Home Affairs Budget Vote 5 tabled here today.
Hon Minister, allow me to congratulate you on your appointment as the Minister of this department and I am certain that you will do justice for the department and the experiences I have had with you under the Department of Health and I know that you will listen, you will investigate and you will act accordingly wherever it is necessary.
Hon Minister, I must admit to you that I was doing a speech and then I decided to stop and just make same points that how well I think I
know same of the changes that I experience in the Department of Home Affairs and I would like at sometimes, Minister, to have an hour with you to highlight some of the challenges that I have identified in the various branches of Home Affairs so that we can work together for the common ground of finding solutions to them.
Let me also congratulate the department in terms of its smartcard roll out because I think you are doing a fantastic job as far as that is concern.
However, Minister, I think one of the major problems you seem to be having is your IT system. More often than not it is down and people have to stand in those queues and it seems to be a serious problem.
If you take, particularly the issue of Umngeni Road Branch, now, it is normal on any day to have 300-400 people in the queues or 500 people more often than most of them are turned away. I think it is because of your IT system and also because of the lack of the number of branches in the area because you are also accommodating people from the north, south and all the other areas that are coming.
So, I think you need to look at one somewhere like in the Brick City areas of people of Phoenix, Inanda, Newlands, KwaMashu can go to
that centre; that is having quite an impact on the Umngeni Road Branch.
But let me also tell you know I had a problem of a grandmother that I met at the bus stop while I was parked there, Thokozani Mditshwa. A 63-year-old woman who is trying to get an ID for a grandchild.
They requested her daughter to come, who was in school in the university in Umtata; comes in there and your branch in Tongaat failed to assists this lady despite numerous calls. This is not normal in all your branches, the Umgeni Brach I must give them credit whenever there is a need they act and they act appropriately and timeously. So I must give them a credit. But matter like this it’s a problem because when you take particular the age and you expecting to go to run there they don’t have an income they rely on social assistance; I think it is not acceptable.
The going rate, Minister, I am going tell you now, R30 000 for a work permit, R30 000. And it is not difficult to trace because all you need to do and I hope your system tells you if you ... I caught the one person who is the one who authorised and approved that and if you follow that and see how many under that particular official that was issued you will be able to trace them. That is how it is.
Going rate, Minister, at the border is R50.00 if you don’t have a passport, that is why they are so many in the country I can assure you R50.00, in and out, they just allow you in and out of the border and I am telling you these are facts.
Put a red overall Minister and you go there they don’t know you are the Minister and I promise you will be able to see them. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
But ... Minister, one of the problems people are having [Time expired.] the NFP supports the report tabled here today, thank you very much.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Hon Chair, we have a minister of home affairs that is up and running after such a short period of his appointment. I hope that he can keep up the pace. The IEC has made us proud. I am going to acknowledge that. That is why most of us are here. Al Jama- ah, ALJAMA, is thrilled that the budget for identification services has increased by R56 billion, a whopping 23%. We head that the banks are investing in further professionalising identification services.
Things will improve, now that you have appointed two ambassadors to provide this identification service. This year, I got my identity
document, ID, and passport in two weeks. I’ve had a good experience, well done Mr Minister.
Al Jama-ah, ALJAMA is disappointed that the budget for status services has decreased by 88%. A marriage status speaks to the human dignity of women. The latest legislation should not be an obstacle when it comes to the registration of marriage certificates arising out of religious marriages, especially Muslims who had a religious ceremony and received their lobola.
Therefore, when a Muslim woman presents her religious marriage certificate with lobola clearly stated and certified by a commissioner of oath, her marriage must be registered and a certificate must be issued. Thus, when her husband dies, she can take the death certificate, which indicates that he was married, to get for example; a car transferred to her name, claim UIF, death benefits and more.
We welcome the budget increase for refugees and asylum seekers. This shows that South Africa, for the first time, has a caring government. The minister has demonstrated leadership by giving orders that schooling for children of refugees and asylum seekers may not be disrupted. Minister, please help include college and
university students. Many university students cannot continue with their studies this month, because of delays in the status of their parents.
Please help minister, so that young girls can continue with their studies. I would like to hear that you will help the African child who is trying to improve their education. It is high time that selected churches, temples and mosques be designated as refugee reception centres and not just the half a dozen that we have now. The President in his Sona, identified a very important aspects that affects the department and that is threatning the state.
We question the department’s increase in outsource services from R14 billion to R120 billion. Minister, please heed the call of the president, capacitate and equip the staff instead of outsourcing.
Mrs L F TITO: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon memebers of the EFF and my fellow South Africans. Chairperson, we want to state, categorically, that we are opposed to this budget. The Department of Home Affairs is yet to account for many of its sins, and for handing over the country on a silver platter, to a clique of corrupt individuals; bent on milking the resources of this country. Malusi Gigaba and his
group of thieves are still out there, enjoying publicly subsidised pensions; when they have caused untold damage to this country.
We have just come out of gruelling national and provincial elections, which almost plunged the country to disaster because of the ineptitude of the independent Electoral Commission.
The IEC must be immediately capacitated to ensure that future elections are credible and beyond reproach.
The multiple incidents of double voting and the shortage of ballot boxes, in some voting stations are an indication of how the IEC was completely unprepared for this election. The double voting crisis could have been averted, had the IEC not ignored the provisions of Section 24 of the Electoral Act. Furthermore, the IEC must scrutinise its systems, so as to have measures that will ensure that the zip-zip machine is linked to the voters roll.
We must also be able to use the Government Printers Works in order to print ballot papers. This is to ensure that functions of the state that are important such as voting, are not outsourced to private companies. Most importantly, the IEC must be given a budget that will assist it to constantly engage with the citizens of South
Africa on voter education. We encountered many people who wanted to vote, but who did not know that they had to registered to vote.
All IEC offices must be capacitated with people tasked with voter education. Chairperson, the Department of Home Affairs has a backlog of thousands of people who applied for identity documents, ID’s, passports and asylum seekers Most of these people whose lives are hindered by the inefficiency of this department, are black people.
While this department fails to handle matters relating to black people’s lives, they were very quick to approve the Fire blade deal which allows a white family to have a private terminal at the Tambo International Airport.
This is similar to the deal that the Department has made with the banks, which allow banks to issue smart card identity documents. This is tantamount to handing over private details of the citizens of this country to a cartel of banks, making our people vulnerable with their details at the hands of foreign agents. The EFF rejects this budget. Thank you.
Mr A C ROOS: House Chair, fellow South Africans. How sacred is your vote? On 27 April 1994 millions of South Africans who had never had
the opportunity to vote, voted for the very first time. We dreamt of a South Africa we could be proud of, one South Africa for All.
Chapter 9 institutions were established to defend our Constitutional Democracy. The independent Electoral Commission, IEC, to ensure the free and fair opportunity to exercise that hard won right to vote.
In the recent elections the integrity of the electoral processes was called into question like never before. Loop holes were discovered, which allowed voters to cast multiple votes. There wasn’t a fully addressed voter’s roll and the forms required to register addresses ran out at several voting stations. The 2019 Election was a watershed moment where it became clear that reform is needed. The IEC set about putting in place measures to safeguard the vote. These measures include the replacement of outdated zip-zip machines with a new online voter registration technology and deployment of technology to facilitate real time live voters roll.
If someone had come to you on that day in 1994 and said this electoral process is not important, not a priority, it would have been a slap in the face. Yet we are now told there is not enough money available due to austerity measures. Thus, the IEC is left
with a R300 billion deficit and is unable to implement the measures necessary to curb multiple voting. This is unacceptable.
We are told there is no money, when, according to a recent study, the government spends well over R300 billion on luxury vehicles for high-ranking officials. The DA government would redirect money allocated for luxury vehicles to address this shortfall as a matter of urgency. Free and fair elections are not a luxury, Chair. In terms of section 190(b) of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission must ensure that those elections are free and fair.
Our Chapter 9 institutions face a crisis of credibility. This funding is not an option. We are faced with local government elections, in just two years’ time and we need decisive action, for change. The kind of action that hon Bhongo spoke about. We need urgent interventions that will address this as a matter of urgency, to protect our vote and to protect our Chapter 9 institutions.
Therefore, the DA calls on National Treasury to give this funding the top priority status that it deserves. One vote for all, one South Africa for all!
Mr M S CHABANE: Hon Chairperson, firstly, hon McGluwa, you must know that the ANC has various leaders and system in place that have
deployed comrades to serve the people of South Africa. We have deployed Comrade Bongo as the member of the House, credible as he is, to lead and chair the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. You must know that there are institutions that are developed by the ANC where matters of allegations and corruption are referred to.
Secondly, hon Minister Aaron Motswaledi and Deputy Minister Nzuza bring credibility and experience in the life of the organisation, hence the ANC has deployed them to lead the Department of Home Affairs.
This Budget Vote comes during the month of celebrating the life and times of our struggle icon, uTata President Nelson Mandela, whom in his name the United Nations’ General Assembly in November 2009 also declared 18 July as International Mandela Day. It acknowledged his outstanding contribution to the struggle for democracy and the promotion of peace throughout the world.
In honour of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, we are devoting our every action, our every effort, our every utterance to the realisation of their vision of a democratic, just and equitable society; as articulated by the President, Cyril Ramaphosa. [Applause.]
Regarding the post democratic breakthrough, the ANC-led Government has made significant progress thus far with progressive legislation to restore the dignity, identity and freedom of movement for our people. Hence the Minister brought two people here whom the EFF clearly does not understand the historical phase of our administrative system. It’s clear that they are just here to ridicule our people. We call on you the Minister and your team to continue with your work in restoring the dignity and identity of our citizens.
This Department remains at the coal face of our country’s civic affairs and it manages immigration by balancing three over-arching objectives: economic development, national security and fulfilment of our international and domestic obligations.
It is in this context of consolidating this common identity and citizenship that the ANC government undertook steps to ensure that every South African citizen over the age of 16 has an ID and every child born is issued with a birth certificate within 30 days.
This reaffirms the ANC’s position to envisage home affairs as a modernised department responding to the present and future needs,
operating in a highly secure environment to protect the precious records of the lives of our people.
Most, if not all, South Africans, appreciate that there is a steady improvement in the Department of Home Affairs in delivering services to our people and we remain committed to ensure that we have a safe and secure South Africa where all our people will be proud of, value their dignity and citizenship.
In demonstrating that ANC is a listening government, challenges which in the past years have put the department in the negative space which includes amongst the following: the long queues in our service points and the prolonged turnaround time of issuing IDs, passports, visa and other related documents.
Members of the opposition, the EFF and DA, you must know that the ANC from time to time assess its policy implementation in order to improve operational efficiency in government.
As a result of the ANC policy directive, the department has introduced the biometrics system and it has 193 offices where live capture is located.
The department has also improved the turnaround time for issuing passports which is now between 14 and 30 days unlike before where it used to take more than two months.
The department is implementing an electronic queue management system which contributes positively in enhancing our frontline customer services while reducing waiting period for our people to receive services.
In the same vein, the department established service points in
391 hospitals where our people are able to access birth and death registration documents.
We would like to dismiss the false narrative by the opposition parties that ANC policies are not implemented successfully.
In our effort to fight the demon of corruption, the department is working tirelessly to narrow the late registrations of birth, which were open to abuse and the fraudulent acquisition of South African identity and citizenship.
It is also important to note the progressive partnership between the department and the banks which enables citizens to apply for their smart ID Cards and passports.
As the Minister has alluded, to date, 13 Banks have Department of Home Affairs’ service points, which its frontline customer services are home affairs officials. This is a demonstration of the ANC government at work.
Minister, the ANC calls for the department to extend its services rural areas in the next financial year.
One of the pillars of the National Development Plan, NDP, is the building of a capable developmental state and reduction of poverty. It is, therefore, encouraging that the Department of Home Affairs has embarked on a large scale modernization programme that will enable the department to provide services efficiently and securely.
In support of the NDP the department has adopted a more open approach to immigration in order to expand supply of critical skills in a manner that contributes to economic growth, tourism and job creation.
The ANC appreciates the commendable work done to this extend by the department regarding the introduction of e-visa regime which is at the testing stage. As espoused by the President during the Sona, we are also pleased that significant progress has been made in restoring policy certainty in the visa regime.
The 54th ANC National Conferences resolved to reposition home affairs as a core security cluster department with adequate resources to enable it to achieve its vision of a modern and secure department managed by professionals.
The ANC has mandated that a comprehensive and trustworthy population register has to be developed in which it will enable government to have an accurate picture of our national profile. Such a population register will keep accurate records of births, marriages, deaths certificate and ensure that they are timeous, effectively and efficiently registered. It will further enable government to plan for social services such as basic education, health, social security, amongst others.
The ANC commends the home affairs for achieving unqualified audit in the previous financial year of 2017-18 and we urge the department to achieve the same in this financial year.
Lastly, Chairperson, we must again commend the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, good work, however, noting its budgetary constraints. The IEC since its inception has been confronted by many challenges when conducting its electoral functions but remains one of the best institutions compared to other countries. It remains a credible and trustworthy electoral management body which continues to strengthen our constitutional democracy.
The committee must advocate for more allocation towards IEC in order to improve its strategic objectives in line with its Annual Performance Plan, APA, in the next financial year. This will in turn enable the institution to replace its ailing outdated technology which includes amongst others things the zip zip machines.
Chairperson, the ANC supports this Budget Vote. Siyabonga [Thank you]. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Through you Chairperson, hon McGluwa we agree with you only on one point about the problems caused by Sector Education and Training Authorities, SETAs, where our computers are always offline. It is also giving us headaches and we are trying our best to talk to SETA to resolve them. It is a big problem for the country and for each development.
Hon Pambo, let’s do things this way, honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to come here and behave as if the women that we brought here are young girls who can’t think for themselves and who were dragged here to be paraded as you have just said. They are adults. You think that we have just dragged them and you are the one who must think for them? Are you not the one who is undermining them because they are black women, assuming that they can’t think you’ve got to think for them? [Applause.]
We have been talking to them about this issue. They want closure; they are prepared to be our ambassadors and help us to help other women who are in this problem. They have made a deliberate choice, and you come here and say they are being paraded?
Mr V PAMBO: Chairperson, I am standing on a point of order.
HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, let me hear what the point of order is. Yes hon member.
Mr V PAMBO: I think it’s important that I don’t allow the Minister
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is the point of order?
Mr V PAMBO: I am getting there; I don’t speak the way you speak. I will speak the way I speak.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): You must state what the point of order is. Order, hon members.
Mr V PAMBO: Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Just state what the point of order is.
Mr V PAMBO: Chairperson, I think the Minister is deliberately representing that which – Chairperson, give me a chance to speak, don’t intimidate us, please ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): State the point of order, hon member.
Mr V PAMBO: The Minister is misrepresenting the speech that was made earlier by the EFF, in particular, myself. At no point did I say they can’t think for themselves. In fact, if anything that I said, my suggestion is this that it’s humiliating ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, it’s not a point of order.
Mr V PAMBO: Chairperson, it’s a point of order. He is referring to the speech I have made.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: It’s a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members, order.
Mr V PAMBO: No, no. Chairperson, these things goes on record. He must never ever say that I said black women cannot speak for themselves. That’s what he is saying.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will you take your seat now? You are now going beyond what the Rule state what the point of order is.
Mr V PAMBO: He is misquoting me, if you allow, I can give him my speech to quote me verbatim.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: Misrepresentation of facts.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seats.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: I am standing in a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is your point of order?
Mrs T J MOKWELE: The hon Minister is ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, I think ... [Interjections.]
Mrs T J MOKWELE: The hon member ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members, order.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: The hon Minister is misrepresenting what hon Pambo is saying. So he must not say what ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I have already ruled on the matter.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: Yes please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): It is not a point of order.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: No, but he was referring to the speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): It is not a point of order.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: What is then?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat, please. It’s not a point of order. Why are you rising, hon member? Is it on the same point?
Mr M S MATIASE: I rise on the same point.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I have made a ruling
Mr M S MATIASE: You’ve been unfair to rule in favour of the Minister, when it’s clear that he is misrepresenting the hon member.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I have made a ruling on the matter and now you are reflecting on my ruling.
Mr M S MATIASE: That’s unfair. It should be recorded that it’s being unfair.
Ms T J MOKWELE: So unfair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat, please.
Ms N K F HLONYANA: I am standing on a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat.
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Okay Chair. Chairperson, people must state what point of order does he referring to. Secondly, Minister must be asked further ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member take your seat, it’s not a point of order. Let’s allow the hon Minister to proceed. Proceed, hon Minister.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Why are you rising, hon member?
Moh T J MOKWELE: Ke ema bakeng sa molawana wa 27 o o mo bukeng ya Katlholo o o reng ga gona ope yo o letleletsweng mo Ntlong eno gore fa a bua a se ka a bua nnete ka leloko le lengwe la Ntlo. Ka jalo, ke kopa ... [Tsenoganong.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, take your seat, the Rule doesn’t say that. You’re quoting a wrong Rule.
Ms T J MOKWELE: No man, you will read the proper Rule. There is something like that ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, as a Whip you should understand the Rules.
Ms T J MOKWELE: There is something like that in your Rules, and you will read those Rules.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat, please; you’re quoting a wrong Rule. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I want to repeat, the two ladies who came here, came out of their will and they knew exactly what they were doing.
Ms T J MOKWELE: I am standing on a point of order again, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is the point of order now, hon member?
Ms T J MOKWELE: This is totally unfair. You have just ruled on this matter. Therefore, the Minister cannot go back to that matter because the speaker who was speaking about the matter ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member.
Mrs T J MOKWELE: Chair, can you give us chance, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, I have dealt with the point of order.
Ms T J MOKWELE: But that is not true; it’s not what the member said.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, take your seat.
Ms T J MOKWELE: But Chair, this thing of yours of abusing us.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Take your seat now, take your seat. Hon Minister, will you continue please.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I’m repeating, to say people are being dragged and being paraded here where their pay is. To assume that they came here being dragged, they were not willing. Yes, it’s not an assumption; that is exactly what he is saying. I want to say, please stop undermining them, because they can think for themselves. [Applause.]
We have spoken to them, and they have willingly agreed to be our ambassadors, to bring this to an end. The manner in which they have dealt with this issue, make me to believe that they are a better representative of our people than you. [Interjections.]
Mr V PAMBO: Of your suffering. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: They are the ones who should be sitting here [Interjections.]
Mr V PAMBO: Of your abuse.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon members, no. Let us not allow this debate to be generated. Hon members, when you want to be heard, you can’t just switch on your microphone, hon Pambo, and speak as you want. You can’t do that; it’s wrong. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, in a normal world, those two ladies are the ones who should be sitting here representing our people, not the hon member who is undermining them ... [Interjections.]
Mr V PAMBO: Order Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: ... because they are more ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is your point of order now, hon member?
Mr V PAMBO: Chairperson, the hon Minister has brought two members, two citizens. Why is it that both of them are black?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thai is not a point of order.
Mr V PAMBO: Why don’t we have a white woman there? Why is there no white woman there?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Pambo, take your seat. That’s not a point of order.
Mr V PAMBO: You want to parade black paying you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Pambo, that’s not a point of order. You must read the Rules; study the Rules. Continue hon Minister. Order, hon member.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Ms Van Der Merwe, I want to clarify issues here. I said, we can issue a passport and a smart ID within
13 working days, which is the standard. I also said, for the members of this House, as we have done in the trucks, we could deliver within 48 hours. It is not because we are doing anybody a favour, it’s because it’s practical.
According to the system we are using today, which is the use of trucks and in all 191 offices, as you apply, the government printers would have printed a passport and a smart ID. The reason that it takes 13 days it’s the logistics of going to supply it in the office where you apply for it because it must be couriered, so that it doesn’t get lost. There is no other method of sending it. Now, to courier something here to the Members of Parliament can be done within 48 hours. That is why we did it for her; we can also do it for you or anybody. It’s just a practical thing. [Applause.]
We did not bring those trucks here because we are doing you a favour. It is because I got a letter from a Chief Whip of this Parliament that we must bring them to serve Members of Parliament, and we are pleased we agreed, that’s why we brought them here. Hon Meshoe – he’s not here – he wrote a note to ask for my speech because he said he have seen very good things on it, but I don’t know why he comes here and say something else.
I use to believe that everybody who is a minister of religion will understand. I actually gave him that copy, but it’s clear he didn’t look at it. I said that there were 2 132 fraudulent marriages that were brought to our attention, and we were able to solve 1 160. We
discovered that those marriages were fraudulent. We have annulled and cancelled them. Therefore, they no longer exist.
For other 346 marriages, we have got records to believe that they were legitimate marriages. It’s only that the people who entered into those marriages no longer want to be in them. We have got their fingerprints, their signatures, etc. In some cases, there were witnesses who were there. So, they have been given an advice that if they no longer want their marriage, they mustn’t come to Home Affairs, rather, they must go to court.
Normally, that is how it’s done. Once one is married and the marriage is recognised by law, when one no longer wants it, one must divorce, and divorces do not take place in Home Affairs; they take place in the court of law. That’s basically what happens in that case. Hon Khanyile, I really want to help you, but Mr Sigama whom you have spoken about is a Deputy Director-General, DDG, of Civics. He has just sent me an email, which he responded to you on 28 February 2019 at 10h41.
I don’t know whether his response was not enough to you, but after this debate I want to bring him so that he meets with you to solve this problem, so that we don’t have to fight in the House
[Applause.] He has told me that he has responded to you, but I still want to meet with you and him because he’s here, so that we can see how we solve this issue.
For us as politicians to squabble here while a child is suffering, it also won’t help us. I really want to resolve that issue. [Applause.] Ntate Shaik Emam, you said that you want an hour with me, you have got it. Yes, let’s come and talk because you are going to help. [Applause.] The last issue is that hwhich was said about the foreign-owned banks. You know, there are certain things which I do not understand about giving them information that they are not supposed to be having.
This surprises me because every single member of this Parliament has got a bank account. You have given the banks every information they required about you, which I don’t even have in Home Affairs. Yes, you gave them information about who you are; the address where you are staying and who’s your next of kin. They even know how much is in your bank account, which I don’t even know. But now I am being accused here for giving them information about citizens.
Members are talking about the clients who voluntarily came to the bank, open an account and gave the banks all the information they
needed. So, what wrong have I done in giving them the same information? The banks are just a station to help so that you don’t have to go and queue. It is a way of fighting to stand long in the queues.
So, I actually do not understand what the issue is. If the banks are foreign-owned, and all of you are banking there, you are banking in foreign-owned institutions. Why can’t I also use them like you do?
Unless someone can make me understand, please, maybe I’m confused. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, order. That concludes the debate. You are reminded that the combined debate on Telecommunications and Postal Services and the Communication Budget Votes will take place at 4:30 in the National Assembly Chamber and the debate on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will take place in the Old Assembly Chamber at the same time.
The mini-plenary session rose at 16:14.