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05 June 2017 - NW1105

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Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) amount was spent by her department on e-government services in the 2016-17 financial year and (b) is the projected expenditure for the 2017-18 financial year?

Reply:

E-government services are the services that Government render to the public online through the internet. In this regard, the Department of Home Affairs has developed an eHome Affairs Portal which enables citizens to apply for smart ID Cards and Passports online. The Portal was launched on 07 April 2016.

(a) FY2016/17 Expenditure

  1. Development of the eHome Affairs Portal – R6 960 447.19
  2. Post Release Enhancements of eHome Affairs – R2 846 908.79
  3. Support and Maintenance of the eHome Affairs system – R887 494.97

It is to be noted that the development of the Portal includes upgrade to Live Capture system and revenue systems to enable EFT payments and integration to various core systems.

​(b) FY2017/18 Budget allocation for eHome Affairs Portal

  1. Planned enhancement of eHome Affairs Portal – R2 500 000.00
  2. Maintenance and Support of the System – R1 000 000.00
  3. Hosting and Internet Connectivity for eHome Affairs (including hardware procurement) – R10 000 000.00

05 June 2017 - NW1090

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Carter, Ms D to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What is the total number of designated marriage officers that (a) her department currently has and (b) have been exempted from solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex; (2) whether, given our constitutional order, it is her position that a marriage officer of her department may be exempted from solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex; if not, would she introduce amending legislation to repeal section 6 of the Civil Union Act, Act 17 of 2006; if so, why?

Reply:

(1)(a) 1 130 designated marriage officers

(1)(b) 421 marriage officers are exempted to perform Civil Union Marriages whereby they objected on the grounds of conscience, religion or belief.

(2) This is not a Ministerial prerogative but a provision of the law in terms of section 6 of the Civil Union Act, 2006 (Act No. 17 of 2006) – A marriage officer, other than a marriage officer referred to in section 5, may in writing inform the Minister that he or she objects on the ground of conscience, religion and belief to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex, whereupon that marriage officer shall not be compelled to solemnise such civil union. The Act is clear in that marriage officers will not be compelled to solemnise such civil unions.

05 June 2017 - NW1088

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Carter, Ms D to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Has she and/or her department decided what will happen to the 245,000 Zimbabweans who have Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP) which are valid until the end of 2017 (details furnished); if not, by what date will a decision be made; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether she intends to ease the restrictions on the ZSPs to allow qualifying Zimbabweans to apply for immigration, spousal, business or work visas without having to return to Zimbabwe first; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. I have received a detailed briefing from the Department on proposed options and/ or interventions that could be considered for current Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) holders beyond the expiry date of 31 December 2017. I am currently considering such proposals, and also consulting with my Cabinet peers. I will be ready to make an announcement during August 2017.

2. Relevant details will be contained in the announcement envisaged above.

05 June 2017 - NW1087

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether her department awarded any tender to companies associated with a certain person (details furnished), either as an employee or a director; if not what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) which tenders were awarded and (b) for what work?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs is not in a position to respond to the above question as the Department does not know which company / companies the person referred to is associated with or working for. The person referred to is and was not employed by the Department.

20 April 2017 - NW923

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Lotriet, Prof A to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether there is any position of (a) chief executive officer, (b) chief financial officer and/or (c) chief operating officer that is currently vacant in each entity reporting to him; if so, (i) how long has each specified position been vacant and (ii) what is the reason for each vacancy; (2) have the vacancies been advertised; if so, (a) were interviews done and (b) on what date will the vacancies be filled; (3) (a) what is the total number of persons who are currently employed in the specified positions in an acting capacity, (b) for what period has each person been acting in each position and (c) has any of the specified persons applied for the positions?

Reply:

The question was forwarded to the Department and the entities who responded as follows:

Department of Home Affairs

(1)(a) No

(1)(b) No

(1)(c) No

(2) Not applicable

3) Not applicable

Government Printing Works

(1)(a)(i) 11 months

(1)(a)(ii) Departure of former incumbent

(1)(b)(i) Not applicable

(1)(b)(ii) Not applicable

(1)(c)(i) Not applicable

(1)(c)(ii) Not appplicable

(2)(a) Recruitment process to commence

(2)(b) In the coming few months

(3)(a) 1

(3)(b) 11 months

(3)(c) Not applicable

Electoral Commission

(1)(a)(i-ii) Became vacant on 1 April 2017 following the departure of Mr. Moepya, who was employed on a fixed term contract.

(1)(b) The role of Chief Financial Officer was allocated to the Senior Manager: Financial Administration, Ms Rowley-Withey, when she was appointed. She retained the role when promoted to Deputy CEO: Corporate Services on 1 March 2014. The Commission has since taken a decision to separate the two roles and fixed-term appointment will soon be made in respect of the role of chief financial officer.

(1)(c) Not applicable

(2) The vacancy for the CEO has not as yet been advertised as it only fell vacant on 1 April 2017, the Commission is yet to consider the process and period for recruitment of the CEO but will do so at its next scheduled meeting.

(3)(a) One.

(3)(b) The Deputy Chief Electoral Officer responsible for Electoral Operations is acting in the post of CEO, whilst the process to fill the post is undertaken.

(3)(c) The process has not yet begun.

20 April 2017 - NW578

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether he shared an image of a certain letter (details furnished) on Twitter on Friday, 24 February 2017, creating the impression that it is fake news; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (2) Is he aware that the letter is authentic; if so, when did he become aware of its authenticity; (3) Whether officials of his department visited the school prior to the letter being issued; if so, was there a threat of a R25 000 fine for each foreign national pupil without proper documents at the school leveled against the school’s principal; (4) Does his department have any policy allocating responsibility to principals for ensuring that foreign nationals who are pupils at their school have proper documentation; if so, what are the details of this policy?

Reply:

1. I am not aware of my predecessor circulating an image of a certain letter.

2. I cannot respond to the authencity or otherwise of the letter mentioned.

3. I have been informed that officials from the Department visited the school on 7 February 2017 as per the invite from the school. No threats of R25 000 fine were made by officials who attended the briefing session.

4. Yes. Section 39 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 as amended stipulate the duties and obligations of the learning institution of which the principal is responsible:

Learning institutions

1. No learning institution shall knowingly provide training or instruction to-

         (a) An illegal foreigner;

        (b) A foreigner whose status does not authorise him or her to receive such training or instruction by such person; or

       (c) A foreigner on terms or conditions or in a capacity different from those contemplated in such foreigner’s status

2. If an illegal foreigner is found on any premises where instruction or training is provided, it shall be presumed that such foreigner was receiving instruction or training from, or allowed to receive instruction or training by, the person who has control over such premises, unless prima facie evidence to the contrary is adduced.

20 April 2017 - NW730

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Figlan, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

In view of the indication from the National Treasury that the Border Management Authority Bill [B9-2016] may not be fully funded in its proposed form, what changes will be needed in the migration policy?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs is not aware of the indication by National Treasury that the Border Management Authority Bill [B9-2016] may not be fully funded in its proposed form.

Since the BMA is envisaged to be an implementation organ of state in the border environment no immediate migration policy changes are foreseen as a result of the BMA’s establishment. The White Paper process on International Migration is at an advanced stage and it already makes provision for and supports the establishment of a BMA.

18 April 2017 - NW729

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Figlan, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Given the imperative to move towards liberalising regional and continental migration as envisaged in the African Union’s Vision 2063, what more has he found can be done to harmonise the various Southern African migration laws in a way that fairly shares financial and social benefits and burdens between countries?

Reply:

In order for progress to be made on this matter various regional blocks within the continent as well as the African Union (AU) are considering the terms of Agenda 2063 to see how the objectives can be realised. Currently various experts on immigration from within the region and continent are discussing the technical aspects and other matters in relation to this. It is envisaged that a harmonised position will eventually be considered at a heads of state summit level.

18 April 2017 - NW728

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Figlan, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With the range of increased security measures being introduced with regard to the immigration and refugee legislation, (a) how and (b) when will the country ensure the implementation of the objectives of the National Development Plan in the migration policy of attracting and rapidly processing skilled migrants?

Reply:

a) The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies various conditions that are necessary for its successful implementation. An enabling condition is to ensure that the Department of Home Affairs can efficiently facilitate the entry and stay of migrants with skills that are scarce and critical for economic growth.

In the chapter under Research and Development (R&D), the NDP places a responsibility on the Department to retain students from abroad who graduate from South African universities with a seven-year work permit to encourage them to stay and work here. While the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 in its current form does not allow for a work visa that exceeds 5 years, the Minister of Home Affairs issued a Directive in 2016 which allowed students who graduate in any of the fields listed in the Critical Skills List to apply for Permanent Residence.

Students who graduate and obtain their PHD at South African universities are also eligible for permanent residence on condition that there is no obligation attached to their studies which requires them to return to their country of origin.

b) Chapter 3 of the NDP on “Economy and Employment” lists a number of actions that should be taken in order to achieve the objectives of the NDP. Action 10 requires the country to “Adopt a more open immigration approach to expand supply of high-level skills” and Chapter 9, Action 67 requires that the country should “Relax immigration requirements for highly skilled science and mathematics teachers, technicians and researchers”.

Concerning implementation, it should be noted that the Department is already in the process of reviewing its Immigration Policy. To this end the Department has submitted its Draft White Paper on International Migration to Cabinet for approval before 31 March 2017. This revised policy framework makes provision for attraction of skilled migrants.

Applications for critical skills work visas are being processed within an accelerated turnaround of 4 weeks from date of application to issuance. In the 2015/16 financial year, 84.7% of critical skills applications were finalised within 4 days to 4 weeks. This represents half the time required for all other categories of temporary residence visas (8 weeks).

Critically skilled migrants are also allowed to sojourn in South Africa for a period of 12 months prior to securing employment in order to determine whether they will be interested in working and staying in the Republic on a longer term.

03 April 2017 - NW644

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Robertson, Mr K to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With respect to children who are affected by the choices their parents make by illegally immigrating to South Africa, what are the rights of children or minors whose parents have moved to South Africa illegally to join the working class, in light of the fact that the specified children are now prevented from (a) writing matric, (b) opening bank accounts and (c) contributing to the economy?

Reply:

Children of parents who are in South Africa illegally are expected to return to their home countries as a family unit either voluntarily or by deportation as per section 34(1) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002. This section provides for the arrest and deportation of an illegal foreigner. The rights provided to the children would also be in line with the family unit by allowing for the right to appeal against the deportation or request the deportation to be confirmed by a warrant of a court. The detention of such a family would be at a place of safety pending their removal from South Africa.

03 April 2017 - NW691

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Groenewald, Mr HB to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Did (a) his department or (b) any entity reporting to him participate in the Dialogue with the President: Unpacking of the SONA 2017 on Radical Economic Transformation Implementation event hosted at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, Durban, on 25 February 2017; if so, what amount was spent in each case; (2) did (a) his department or (b) any entity reporting to him participate in the auction of the (i) souvenirs or (ii) personal belongings of the President of the Republic, Mr Jacob G Zuma; if so, (aa) which items were purchased and (bb) at what cost, in each case?

Reply:

The question was forwarded to the Department and the entities who responded as follows:

Department of Home Affairs

(1)(a) No.

(2)(a) No.

Government Printing works

(1)(b) No.

(1)(b) No.

Electoral Commission

(1)(b) No.

(1)(b) No.

03 April 2017 - NW454

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Bucwa, Ms H to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether his department procured any services from and/or made any payments to (a) Mr Mzwanele Manyi, (b) the Progressive Professionals Forum, (c) the Decolonisation Fund and/or (d) the Black Business Council; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what (i) services were procured, (ii) was the total cost, (iii) is the detailed breakdown of such costs, (iv) was the total amount paid, (v) was the purpose of the payments and (vi) is the detailed breakdown of such payments in each case?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs has not procured any services from the person or entities listed as there has been no need to do so.

24 March 2017 - NW572

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Chance, Mr R to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)(a) What is the total amount of business visas that have been issued annually for (i) start-up and (ii) existing businesses since such visas were introduced, (b) what amount in Rands has been invested in the country annually due to the issuing of these visas, (c) how many applications for business visas have been refused annually and (d) at what resultant lost investment; (2) whether his department has tracked the businesses (a) that were started and (b) in which money has been invested as a result of the issuance of such visas to establish whether the specified businesses are still trading; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

Reply:

(1)(a)(i) No new applications for start-ups were approved within the Republic in the period January 2016 to December 2016.

(1)(a)(ii) Twenty-five applications for existing businesses were approved and seven were approved for change of condition on an already issued business visa.

(1)(b) The Immigration Regulations prescribe R 5 million as an amount in cash to be invested in the Republic as determined from time to time by the Minister, after consultation with the Minister of Trade and Industry, by notice in the Gazette. In the year 2016 there were no business visa applications that were approved for investments into new businesses or start-up.

(1)(c) 148 applications were rejected for business visa renewals, and 48 were rejected for new businesses.

(1)(d) In most cases applications are rejected for fraudulent supporting documents. Most of these are where the applicants have submitted fraudulent Chartered Accountant letters purporting to confirm the availability of funds.

The rejections therefore do not translate to any loss of potential investments as in essence the applicants could not provide proof of the available investment amount.

(2)(a) All applicants whose permits are rejected are traced and deported by Inspectorate unit.

(2)(b) Inspectorate unit conducts inspections to ensure that all persons issued with visas comply with the terms and conditions of their permits.

14 March 2017 - NW358

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Topham , Mr B to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What is the (a) make, (b) model, (c) price and (d) date on which each vehicle was purchased for use by (i) him and (ii) his deputy (aa) in the (aaa) 2014-15 and (bbb) 2015-16 financial years and (bb) since 1 April 2016?

Reply:

During the 2014-15 financial year, a BMW 535i sedan was procured for the use of the Minister. The vehicle was procured on 30 January 2015 for the purchase price of R750 122.76. No other vehicles were procured for the Minister or his deputy subsequent to 30 January 2015.

 

14 March 2017 - NW269

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1) How many Syrian Arab Republic nationals have (a) applied for asylum, (b) been granted refugee status and (c) been denied (i) asylum and (ii) refugee status in each of the past 10 calendar years; (2) has his department placed any limits on the number of asylum and refugee status applications it will receive from nationals from the Syrian Arab Republic; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The information is in the table below:

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC NATIONALS

YEAR

  1. APPLIED FOR ASYLUM
  1. GRANTED

REFUGEE STATUS

(c) DENIED REFUGEE STATUS

2007

0

0

0

2008

1

Information not available

Information not available

2009

0

0

0

2010

0

0

0

2011

0

0

0

2012

5

2

0

2013

11

6

3

2014

40

11

Information not available

2015

27

3

7

2016

20

12

12

2. No

09 March 2017 - NW268

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

How many foreign nationals have died whilst in his department’s custody at (a) the Lindela Repatriation Centre and (b) any other holding area in each of the last 10 calendar years?

Reply:

(a) The requested statistics of the number of people who died whilst in custody at Lindela is as follows:-

2007 – 10

2008 - 5

2009 - 1

2010 - 3

2011 - 3

2012 - 4

2013 - 2

2014 - 6

2015 - 7

2016 – 6

All these deaths occurred after the deportees were referred by the clinic at Lindela to the Leratong hospital in Krugersdorp. Only one person actually died within the facility in 2016 shortly after arrival at the facility. The person did not show visible signs of illness.

(b) The police cells at the South African Police Services (SAPS) are utilised for the detention of suspected or confirmed illegal immigrants, pending their direct deportation to their countries of origin or transferred to the Lindela Holding Facility. The SAPS statistics for any deaths in detention are not available to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Prior to the proclamation of the “Determination of Places of Detention of Illegal Foreigners pending deportation” in Government Gazette No.534 in terms of s34 (1) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 on 22 June 2015, illegal immigrants were also held in correctional facilities. The statistics of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for the period prior to the declaration are not available to the DHA.

09 March 2017 - NW267

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)With reference to his reply to question 2649 on 5 December 2016, what specific steps are being taken to address the existing backlog of appeals received by the Refugee Appeals Board; (2) will the Refugee Appeal Authority, as proposed in the Refugees Amendment Bill [B12-2016], be better equipped to address the specified backlog; (3) (a) for how long has the specified Board been improperly constituted and (b) what impact has this had on the existing backlog of appeals?

Reply:

1.   The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has undertaken two backlog projects in 2001 and 2006 with a view of reducing the backlog. While these projects were able to resolve most outstanding claims, they were not able to prevent the re-occurrence of the backlog. The problem is complex and as a result of many interlinked causes.

To address the existing backlog of appeal hearings it is necessary to contextualize the backlog: -

  • In terms of section 13 of the Refugee Act (No 130 of 1998), the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB) must consist of a Chairperson and at least two other members. In the past members of the RAB would hear matters individually for each appeal.
  • As explained under question 2649 (b) in the Harerimana v Chairperson of the RAB and others the honourable Judge Dennis Davis ordered RAB to sit as a quorum of 50 percent of members plus one of the members for each appeal hearing or at least two members.
  • Apart from the capacity constraints the subsequent dilemma is if only two members sit to hear an appeal and they disagree they cannot come to a decision. As a consequence, RAB was advised to sit as a quorum consisting of the three members (at this point the Chairperson and two members) which will then be properly constituted. The main rationale appears to be that sitting as a quorum of three facilitates the process of decision-making.
  • As at the end of January 2017, RAB consisted of one member based in Cape Town and an acting Chairperson based in Pretoria. This chronic incapacity was as a result, of the end of contract of the previous RAB Chairperson as well as the resignation of three RAB members around the same time in middle 2016.
  • The DHA has about 90 Refugee Status Determination Offices (RSDO’s) based at the five Refugee Reception Offices on average these RSDO’s may hear and determine between four and seven applications per day. If the applicant is rejected as unfounded by the RSDO, he or she has a right to appeal to the RAB within 30 days. Most applicants for asylum are rejected as “unfounded” and almost all such rejections are appealed against. This further strains the backlog.

In order to address the immediate challenges of the incapacity, the Minister of Home Affairs appointed a new Chairperson for RAB on 07 February 2017. As a matter of urgency, RAB re-started appeal hearings on 20 February 2017 on the basis that it is now properly constituted. All three current members are conducting these appeal hearings sitting as a quorum.

There is also an imminent appointment of two additional members by the Minister of Home Affairs. These two members are going through the internal interview and vetting processes. The Minister will in this regard also make the appointment after the conclusion of these internal processes. (It must be noted that there is challenges in attracting qualified legal refugee experts to a mandate with such a high backlog and low salary band). As soon as the interview and vetting process is completed, it is planned that the members be based at the Durban and Musina Refugee Reception Centres, respectively. It is also planned, that the Chairperson and another member, as may be required, will travel to these centres to hold appeal hearings as an interim measure in anticipation of the adoption of the new amendments in particular related to the quorum requirements.

According to RAB statistics there are 1287 judicial review cases that were served on RAB to date. This is another capacity constraint.

Year -

No of cases

2013 to 2014

132

2014 to 2015

230

2015 to 2016

663

2016 to 2017

262 (to date)

The reasons for the high number of reviews are the following, firstly, the decisions taken by RAB as an individual member after the Harerimana case was decided in November 2011. At the time, the previous Chairperson of RAB failed to apply the judgement and continued with hearings as individual members in some instances. Secondly, reviews are submitted in order for RAB to provide a hearing date. These reviews are mainly to compel the extension of the asylum seekers permit and to order RAB to provide a hearing date.

In this regard, RAB has undertaken an open dialogue with legal representatives of the appellants to prioritise certain cases. These cases include legal challenges to demand a hearing date and cases where a single member in contravention of the quorum requirements took decisions. This process is ongoing and intended to reduce the number of legal proceedings against RAB. RAB also intends to approach organisations such as Lawyers for Human Rights, Wits Law Clinic, UCT Law Clinic and other interested representatives to open this dialogue. (It should be noted, that at this stage there are very few of these reviews based on the merits of the case.)

During July 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and representatives of South Africa had a high-level bilateral meeting in Geneva. The parties had agreed to develop a backlog project to address the outstanding RAB appeal cases. The project has not taken off due to the incapacity constraints listed above and financial constraints on both sides. The project was to run for three years ending in 2019.

RAB is continuing the dialogue with the UNHCR under the above agreement. RAB has approached the UNHCR and reopened discussion about the backlog project and its implementation. In this regard, the UNHCR was also approached to assist RAB with the development and financing of a comprehensive case management system. This system will be central to the management of any backlog project and will streamline the management of individual cases. The system will also provide a means to undertake a proactive approach to avoid a re-occurring backlog. The discussion is ongoing but promising.

At this stage, RAB is conducting hearings on an average of five to ten cases per day dependent on the complexity of cases. It has an estimated backlog of 258 232 cases with 92 535 active and 165 697 inactive cases. The institutional incapacity in this regard is evident and multifaceted. The institutional incapacity cannot be a problem that the DHA can alleviate on its own. Therefore, we are in discussion with all interested parties. This is in its infant stage.

2.   Yes, as discussed above the legislative amendments will play a key role in alleviating the current incapacity and thus assist in management of the backlog. Although the legislative changes is important there is more to be done in order to address the specified backlog and to manage the caseload proactively. For example, another key requirement in proactive management of the backlog is a case management system (discussed above). This will strengthen resource management and can pinpoint how to address institutional incapacity.

3.  (a) Since May 2016, no decision was taken by RAB members due to the resignation of three members and the end of contract of the previous Chairperson. It is unclear in how many appeal hearings RAB was improperly constituted.

3.  (b) The impact is not measurable at this point, however, as a result of the improperly constituted RAB hearings this has opened the RAB decisions to judicial review and these reviews are likely to be successful if submitted to a High Court. As mentioned above the total number of reviews on hand is 1287 cases. A percentage of this number is reviews based on the lack of a quorum. This percentage will have a marginal effect on the backlog, compared with the total backlog, if these matters are referred back to RAB.

05 December 2016 - NW2649

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) How many (i) appeals were received by the Refugee Appeals Board (aa) in each of the past five financial years and (bb) since 1 April 2016 and (ii) of the specified appeals were finalised, (b) what are the causes of the delays in adjudicating the appeals and (c) by what date will the backlog in the appeals be cleared?

Reply:

(a) Appeals received and finalised by the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB) in the past five financial years and from 01 April 2016 to date is tabulated hereunder:

 (aa - bb) FINANCIAL YEAR

(i) RECEIVED

 (ii) FINALISED

April 2011 - March 2012

5452

4248

April 2012 - March 2013

5655

922

April 2013 - March 2014

11098

4978

April 2014 - March 2015

16830

1705

April 2015 - March 2016

9321

1331

April 2016 – Nov 2016

3251

555

(b) The causes for the delay in the adjudication of appeal cases is as follows:

  • Most asylum applications received by the Refugee Reception Offices in South Africa are rejected as unfounded and they end up at the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB). Presently the RAB has one member based in Cape Town and an Acting Chairperson based in Pretoria as three RAB Members resigned early this year. The process to identify and appoint the Chairperson and the three members is continuing.
  • In the past members of the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB) used to sit as single members for each appeal hearing. However, in the Western Cape Court judgement of November 2011( Harerimana v Chairperson of the RAB and others) the RAB was ordered to sit as a quorum of 50 percent plus one of the members for each appeal hearing or at least two members.
  • The high number of appeals lodged on daily basis makes it difficult for the few RAB members to hear and determine cases without delay. Some cases are simple and straight forward and can be determined without delay, however, a lot of cases are complex and take some time to determine. The decision making process requires extensive research on latest possible country of origin information, International Refugee Law and Case Law because of the complexity of most cases that have to be adjudicated and it is not always easy to get access to these sources of information
  • The RAB normally hears between five and ten appeal cases per day, depending on the profile and complexity of each case, from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays determinations on appeals heard are normally written. The RAB visits the regional Refugee Reception Offices for hearings, sometimes for up to three weeks. As much as the Board makes efforts to adjudicate appeals already heard, there is also a high number of appeals scheduled to be heard by the Board. The RAB tries to balance the number of cases it hears with those that are adjudicated.
  • The RAB decisions need to be carefully constructed because sensitive human rights issues are being dealt with; some of which in their nature are matters of life and death. The RAB has to apply its mind to the facts of each case in compliance with Public Administrative Justice Act, The Constitution, The Refugee Act, International Refugee Law and other Human Rights Instruments before coming to a particular decision.

(c) At this stage the RAB is not in a position to provide the date on which the appeals backlog will be cleared. It is presently estimated that the RAB has around 145 414 appeal cases nationally defined as a backlog and around 80 315 of these cases appear to be active in the National Immigration Information system.

During the Republic of South Africa – UNHCR High Level Bilateral Meeting in Geneva, July 2015 the two parties agreed to the development of a backlog project to address the outstanding RAB appeal cases, However the project has not taken off in earnest due to financial constraints. The project was planned to continue for three years, until 2019. Provided enough human capacity and financial resources are made available, the backlog could be cleared within three years.

28 November 2016 - NW2517

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Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether, with reference to his replies to questions (a) 2140 and (b) 2141 on 28 October 2016, any South African embassy and/or consulate in the Russian Federation issued a visa to any of the specified Russian nationals; if so, what are the relevant details in each case in terms of the (i) type, (ii) duration of stay and (iii) dates of validity of each of the specified visas?

Reply:

The Honourable Member is requested to provide me with details such as passport numbers and other additional information to enable me to validate the information on our systems and provide a response.

28 November 2016 - NW2516

Profile picture: Matsepe, Mr CD

Matsepe, Mr CD to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What are the relevant details of the type of information that is stored on the movement control register for persons (a) entering and (b) leaving the Republic; (2) what is the total number of persons who entered the Republic through the OR Tambo International Airport from 1 January 2016 to 1 September 2016?

Reply:

(1)(a) The following information is captured by the Immigration Officer for persons entering the Republic:

- Flight / vessel / transport number

- Biographic details including surname, first names, date of birth, etc.

- Occupation

- Purpose of visit

- Visa details (whenever applicable)

(1)(b) The following information is captured by the Immigration Officer for persons leaving the Republic:

- Flight / vessel / transport number

- Biographic details including surname, first names, date of birth, etc.

- Visa details (if confirmation is required on departure)

(2) 2 777 931

23 November 2016 - NW2510

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What is the timeline for the move of his department’s office in Boksburg, Gauteng, to a different location following recent serious flood damage?

Reply:

The heavy flooding that occurred in the Gauteng Province in early November 2016 did not affect operations materially and the Boksburg office is open and functioning. The damage that occurred in May 2016 in the Boksburg office was caused by a burst water hydrant outside in the street over a weekend and not stormy weather. This caused severe damage to office equipment and furniture which had to be replaced.

However, the lease for the Boksburg office is expiring on 30 April 2017. The Department requested the Department of Public Works to find alternative accommodation as the current office accommodation no longer meets the needs of the Department.

15 November 2016 - NW2359

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether a certain person (name and details furnished), has been blacklisted on his department’s databases; if so, (a) when was the specified person blacklisted, (b) on what grounds and (c) by when will the specified person’s blacklisting be lifted?

Reply:

(a-b) The name of the specified person does not appear on the departmental Visa and Entry Stop List. Therefore there are no restrictions placed upon her name.

(c) Falls away.

09 November 2016 - NW2297

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether any (a) internal and/or (b) external forensic reports pertaining to (i) his department and/or (ii) each entity reporting to him were completed from 1 January 2009 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what is the (aa) name, (bb) subject matter and (cc) date of conclusion of each of the specified forensic reports?

Reply:

Responses provided by the Department of Home Affairs, Electoral Commission and Government Printing Works are tabulated below:

Department of Home Affairs

 

(aa) - Name

(bb) Subject Matter

(cc) Conclusion date

(a)(i)

1. Tender DHA22-2013

Allegations of the alterations of the price after closing date of the tender

30 June 2015

 

2. Tender DHA07-2014

Complaint from member of the public on the awarding of a tender

24 August 2015

 

3. Interest on overdue accounts

Interest charged on overdue accounts submitted by Refugee Ministries Centre for interpretation services

26 September 2016

(a)(ii)

No

N/A

N/A

According to the Electoral Commission

 

(aa) - Name

(bb) Subject Matter

(cc) Conclusion date

(a)(ii)

No

N/A

N/A

(b)(ii)

1. Forensic Investigation: Electoral Commission – Riverside Office Park

The lease agreement entered into for the Electoral Commission’s national office accommodation

14 December 2013

According to the Government Printing Works

 

 

(aa) - Name

(bb) Subject Matter

(cc) Conclusion date

(a)(ii)

1. Government Printing Works (GPW)

Unauthorised and confidential information shared with external parties relating to the physical security and guarding services tender at GPW Head and Regional Offices

30 September 2016

(b)(ii)

No

N/A

N/A

09 November 2016 - NW2004

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Esau, Mr S to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether the Burundian national, (name and details furnished), was allowed to enter the country with photocopies of her travel documents in 2014; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) why was she allowed to enter the country with photocopies of her travel documents and (b) on what statutory grounds is this practice allowed?

Reply:

No, the passenger had no documents with her on entry into the Republic of South Africa (RSA) as it was reported to Immigration that she has been rescued and thereafter, intends to apply for asylum.

(a) She did not enter the RSA with photocopies of her travel document.

(b) In terms of the Immigration Act, 13 of 2002, as amended, as well as the Refugee Act, 130 of 1998, any person who enters the RSA with the intention to claim asylum is not required to have or produce any travel document.

The above is confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal Judgment in the matter of Bula & Others v Minister of Home Affairs & Others (589/11) [2011] ZASCA 209 (29 November 2011 in which the Court stated the following:

Ad Paragraph 59 “Most importantly, the provisions of Section 2 of the Refugee Act read as follows:

“Notwithstanding any provisions of this Act or any other law to the contrary, no person may be refused entry into the Republic, expelled, extradited or returned to any other country or be subject to any similar measure, if as a result of such refusal, expulsion, extradition, return or other measure, such person is compelled to return to or remain in a country where─

(a) he or she may be subjected to persecution on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group; or

(b) his or her life, physical safety or freedom would be threatened on account of external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or other events seriously disturbing or disrupting public order in either part or the whole of that country.”

Ad Paragraph 61, the Supreme Court of Appeal further referred to one of its judgments in the matter of Abdi v Minister of Home Affairs 2011 (3) SA 37 (SCA) and stated the following:

“In Abdi v Minister of Home Affairs 2011 (3) SA 37 (SCA) paragraph 22, this court noted that the provisions of the Act referred to in the preceding paragraph mirror those of the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Convention. In paragraph 22 of Abdi this court went on to say that these provisions ‘patently prohibit the prevention of access to the Republic of any person who has been forced to flee the country of his or her birth because of any of the circumstances identified in Section 2 of the Act”.

It is evident from the above stated legislation and Court Judgments, including International Conventions that no one who is claiming asylum may be refused entry into the RSA.

09 November 2016 - NW2256

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) Why does the Edenvale Home Affairs office service only 100 persons on Saturdays and (b) how many persons are turned away on average on Saturdays; (2) Whether any plans are being put in place to increase the number of persons serviced at the specified office on Saturdays; if not, why not; if so; what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)(a-b) It is not correct to state that Edenvale Home Affairs office services only 100 clients on Saturdays. The average statistics for the office on a Saturday is 120 for intake of applications for ID smart cards and passports only and 90 for collection of these documents ready for collection. This statistics excludes other legacy services rendered by the Department such as registration of births, deaths and marriages and related services required by clients over the weekend.

For your convenience I am attaching a copy of statistics for the previous three months (Aug – Oct 2016) marked Annexure A, B and C on services for ID smart card and passports excluding all other services.

2. The office is sufficiently capacitated over the weekend as there are 14 Front Office Clerks and 2 Supervisors on a weekend. Whilst the office is attending to all legacy and collection clients, the rate of processing clients applying for ID smart card and passport is due to clients’ particulars having to be captured on the live capture system.

09 November 2016 - NW2284

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Van Dyk, Ms V to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What is the current status of the application for the renewal of the passport of a certain person (name and details furnished); (2) (a) why was the specified person’s application for the renewal of a passport blocked, (b) why was the person flagged for investigation, (c) what were the findings against the person and (d) what steps will he take to resolve the specified matter speedily?

Reply:

(1) There is no passport application lodged on the system. However, the client is eligible to apply.

(2)(a-b) The specified person’s application for the renewal of a passport was not blocked. Markers were set on her identity number for precautionary purposes (awaiting confirmation of naturalisation requirements/ prerequisites in accordance with Section 5(5)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act, (Act no. 88 of 1995) (“the Citizenship Act”). This process was not pursuing the specified person, as it is similarly done to all foreign nationals who had acquired permanent residency and whose naturalisation process was not yet entirely concluded.

(2)(c) The investigation concluded that the applicant complied with Section 5(5)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (Act no. 88 of 1995). Section 5(5)(a) of the Act stipulates that the husband/wife of the South African citizen who has been married to a South African citizen for a period of two years may apply for naturalisation as a South African citizen if he/she has been permanently resident in the Republic for a period of two years after the Permanent Residence was issued.

(2)(d) Markers have been lifted on the identity number and the specified person can lodge the application for the required document (passport).

 

09 November 2016 - NW2331

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Figlan, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether his department has included a pending application function on its live capture software for cases where the network service is interrupted; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether he is considering to approach a different service provider than the State Information Technology Agency to ensure a more consistent provision of services in each of his department’s offices; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

  1. No. Live Capture system does not have a pending application function, but functions on an off-line mode. If there is no WAN (Wide Area Network) service, the applications are stored at a local (office/branch) server and transmitted once the WAN connectivity is restored.
  2. Telecommunications Network Services is a mandatory service of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in terms of the SITA Act and Regulations. The matter of network downtimes has been brought to the attention of the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services and Portfolio Committee on Home affairs in a joint sitting. SITA has presented the plan to provide redundancy connections to the Department of Home Affairs offices and the plan is monitored by the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services.

09 November 2016 - NW2360

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether a certain person (names and details furnished) has been granted permanent citizenship; if not, (a) what is the current status of her permanent residence application and (b) by which date will the application be finalised; if so, (i) who issued the specified person’s permanent residence permit, (ii) on which date was the permit issued and (iii) by which home affairs office; 2) (a) what is the specified person’s identification number and (b)(i) where and (ii) on what date can the specified person receive her certificate

Reply:

(1)(a-b) The applicant was granted permanent residence on 2 December 2013. She already has permanent residence, Permit number is GER1044/2011 issued by Department’s Head Office.

(2)(a-b) The specified person does not have an identity number. If she applied for one then proof of application must be submitted.

31 October 2016 - NW2146

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to his reply to question 1007 on 25 April 2016, what are the full details of the exceptional circumstances under which he granted citizenship to certain persons (names and details furnished)?

Reply:

Section 5(9) of the South African Citizenship, 1995 (Act No. 88 of 1995) (‘the Citizenship Act”) stipulates that the Minister may under exceptional circumstances grant a certificate of naturalisation as a South African citizen to an applicant who does not comply with the requirements of subsection (1)(c) relating to the residence or ordinary residence in the Republic. Furthermore, subsequent to the refusal of an application for naturalisation, an applicant may approach the Minister and submit a motivation containing material information for consideration as to the existence of exceptional circumstances justifying the granting of citizenship by means of naturalisation.

Mr Gupta and family submitted their motivation which presented exceptional circumstances for the consideration of the applications. This included presenting the company Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd which has interests in various sectors such as media, information technology, real estate, mining and related activities. The supporting documents submitted included the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) company registration, as well as the formal registration and shareholding coupled with tax payments to and registration with the South African Revenue Services (SARS). The company also submitted supporting documents reflecting employment of approximately 7000 permanent employees.

The fact that Mr Gupta and family contribute to the economy of South Africa, provided substantive grounds for consideration of their application for naturalisation under exceptional circumstances as stipulated in section 5(9) of the Citizenship Act.

 

28 October 2016 - NW2141

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Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether certain Russian nationals (names furnished) entered the Republic (a) in the (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13, (iii) 2013-14, (iv) 2014-15 and (v) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if so, (aa) what was the nature of each of the specified persons’ visit and (bb) how long did each visit last?

Reply:

Due to insufficient information provided regarding the referred nationals above, I am unable to determine with complete accuracy the movement of such persons. Details such as passport numbers and related information will be crucial to determine if these individuals entered the Republic and the nature of their visits.

28 October 2016 - NW2140

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Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether certain Russian nationals (names furnished) entered the Republic (a) in the (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13, (iii) 2013-14, (iv) 2014-15 and (v) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if so, (aa) what was the nature of each of the specified persons’ visit and (bb) how long did each visit last?

Reply:

Due to insufficient information provided regarding the referred nationals above, I am unable to determine with complete accuracy the movement of such persons. Details such as passport numbers and related information will be crucial to determine if these individuals entered the Republic and the nature of their visits.

17 October 2016 - NW1899

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Selfe, Mr J to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What steps has (a) he and/or (b) the Electoral Commission taken to date to (i) implement and (ii) comply with the Public Protector’s recommendations on the Riverside Office Park following the Constitutional Court’s recent affirmation of the Public Protector’s powers; (2) what is the status of the current legal review of the Riverside Office Park lease before the courts?

Reply:

A response as provided by IEC:

(1)(i-ii) The EC has proceeded with legal action in two respects based on the recommendations made by the PP, namely, instituting disciplinary proceedings against the responsible employees and launching an application to review and set aside the Riverside Office Park lease. Both matters are well under way. The review process is dealt with in the response to part 2 of this parliamentary question. Insofar as the disciplinary proceedings are concerned, disciplinary charges were served on the affected employees on 12 November 2014. The hearing commenced on 29 January 2015. The employees concerned took certain technical issues arising out of their disciplinary process on review to the Labour Court which ruled in favour of the Electoral Commission in 2015. These employees then obtained leave to appeal the Labour Court’s ruling, and all that is awaited now is a date for the hearing of the appeal in the Labour Appeal Court.

(2) There has been a lengthy exchange of affidavits between all the parties involved in the matter in the course of legal proceedings with the volume of documents in excess of 2500 pages. From a procedural point of view the EC has complied with its part and is awaiting Abland’s heads of arguments which is due in the course of next week. Only once the EC has received Abland’s heads of argument can a date be obtained for the hearing. This is in accordance with the practice directives of the High Court. Whilst the EC will procure a date for the hearing in October 2016, it is anticipated the matter will only be set down for hearing in early 2017 as a result of an overly burdened court roll.

13 October 2016 - NW1980

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Vos, Mr J to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

By what date will the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Immigration regarding the amendment of the immigration regulations relating to (a) the requirement of unabridged certificates when travelling with minors and (b) visa exemptions for Brics countries be implemented?

Reply:

(a) The amendment to the Immigration Regulations has required the Department to undertake review of regulation 6 of the Regulations, with substitution in subregulation (12)(a) and (b). The establishment of the Immigration Advisory Board (IAB) is fundamental to this process. The IAB convened its first sitting on 3 June 2016 and was officially inaugurated on 20 July 2016. As its first order of business, the IAB reviewed the requirement for the issuance of the Strong Advisory and recommended that the proposed amendment and intent to publish a Strong Advisory be opened to public consultation through a published Gazette. The consultation period of 30 days commenced with the publication of Gazette No 40287 on 16 September 2016 and concluding on 14 October 2016. The IAB will convene a special sitting on 26 October 2016 to hear and consider comments made on the proposed amendment to the Immigration Regulations. It is expected that the amendments will be submitted for publication during November 2016.

(b) At its meeting on 20 August 2013, the BRICS Business Council requested BRICS governments to consider granting BRICS Business Executives long-term, multiple entry visas for the purpose of enhancing business activities. On 23 December 2014 the Minister granted approval for the issuance of visas for a period not exceeding 10 years, with each visit restricted to 30 days. A communication in this regard was transmitted to all South African Missions abroad with a request that visa applications be processed and finalised within five working days. In addition to this, it can be confirmed that all diplomatic and official or service passport holders of BRICS Member States are exempt from the requirement to apply for a visa before proceeding to the Republic of South Africa.

11 October 2016 - NW1978

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) For how many days has the online verification system been suspended on the website of his department, (b) what are the reasons for the suspension of the specified system and (c) by what date will the system be fully operational again?NW2289

Reply:

(a) The online verification system has been suspended as of 11 March 2015 on the website of the Department.

(b) The system was accessed by almost everybody who has an idea of how an ID number is constituted, which led to ID number phishing, abuse of the system, denial of services to those who genuinely required using the system as it was intended for. The Department (DHA) also encountered some financial and insurance organisations verifying ID and status of their potential clients without client consent and bypassing of departmental processes when it comes to identity of citizens. All these led to violation of the current legislation and clogging of DHA website.

(c) At the moment there is no envisaged date to open up the system, but there are processes in place to ensure that those who need this service can have access to it. Entities that require online verification of their clients ID and status must follow the prescribed process for application of secure access to the service and are to be governed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect citizens information.

11 October 2016 - NW2093

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Mackay, Mr G to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What amount did (a) his department and (b) each entity reporting to him spend on advertising on the (i) Africa News Network 7 channel, (ii) SA Broadcasting Corporation (aa) television channels and (bb) radio stations, (iii) national commercial radio stations and (iv) community (aa) television and (bb) radio stations (aaa) in the 2015-16 financial year and (bbb) since 1 April 2016?

Reply:

Responses provided by the Department of Home Affairs, Electoral Commission and Government Printing Works are tabulated below:

(a) Department of Home Affairs

 

(aaa)Budget spend on Advertising in 2015/16 FY

(bbb)Budget spend on Advertising from 01 April 2016 to 27 September 2016

(i)Africa News Network 7 channels

R0

R0

(ii) SABC

   

(aa)Television channels

R 3 900 765.70.

R0

(bb)Radio stations

R 1 737 861.60

R 1 861 317.90

(iii)National Commercial Radio Stations

R0

R 1 227 626.01

(iv) Community

R 810 357.60

R0

(aa) television

R0

R0

(bb)radio stations

R 810 357.60

R0

(b) According to the Electoral Commission

 

(aaa)Budget spend on Advertising in 2015/16 FY

(bbb)Budget spend on Advertising from 01 April 2016 to 27 September 2016

(i)Africa News Network 7 channels

R194 403.00

R98 610.00

(ii) SABC

   

(aa)Television channels

R7 841 858.00

R2 265 540.00

(bb)Radio stations

R6 937 713.00

R6 225 098.00

(iii)National Commercial Radio Stations

R3 123 844.00

R4 080 413.00

(iv) Community

   

(aa) television

R446 744.00

R312 101.00

(bb)radio stations

R872 613.00

R1 471 066.00

(c) According to Government Printing Works

 

(aaa)Budget spend on Advertising in 2015/16 FY

(bbb)Budget spend on Advertising from 01 April 2016 to 27 September 2016

(i)Africa News Network 7 channels

R0

R0

(ii) SABC

   

(aa)Television channels

R0

R0

(bb)Radio stations

R0

R0

(iii)National Commercial Radio Stations

R0

R0

(iv) Community

   

(aa) television

R0

R0

(bb)radio stations

R0

R0

11 October 2016 - NW2023

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What formal qualifications does each of his department’s (a)(i) Chief Financial Officers and/or (ii) acting Chief Financial Officers and (b)(i) Directors-General and/or (ii) acting Directors-General possess?

Reply:

The formal qualifications for incumbents at the Department of Home Affairs are as follows:

(a)(i) Bachelor of Laws (Baccalareus Legum Civilium); B Com Business Economics and B Com Honours in Cost Management; Master of Business Administration.

(a)(ii) Not applicable.

(b)(i) Diploma in Management and Administration and B Com (Accounting).

(b)(ii) Not applicable.

11 October 2016 - NW1900

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether the Electoral Commission (EC) handed the National Treasury’s forensic report into the Riverside Office Park over to the (a) SA Police Service (SAPS) and/or (b) Hawks, after receiving it, as required by section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, Act 12 of 2004, as amended; if not, why not; if so, (i) has the EC co-operated with the (aa) SAPS and/or (bb) Hawks in any investigation on this matter to date and (ii) what is the case number of each such investigation conducted by each respective entity?

Reply:

The EC did not report the matter to the SAPS and/or Hawks as there is no obligation on any Commissioners in terms of section 34 of the Corruption Act, whether or not they are persons in authority in relation to the former CEO:EC, Adv Tlakula and the officials responsible for maladministration in relation to the Abland lease.

06 October 2016 - NW1755

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Mulder, Dr CP to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether ID smart cards are currently being issued to South African citizens born abroad; if not, (a) why not, (b) what steps he will take to address the problems in this regard and (c) by what date the ID smart cards will be issued to this category of South African citizens?

Reply:

(a-d) ID smart cards are currently issued to South African citizens born abroad. However, citizens born abroad can access the live capture system by applying in South Africa only and not abroad.

06 October 2016 - NW2058

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Groenewald, Mr HB to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether each Head of Department (HOD) of his department signed a performance agreement since their appointment; if not, (a) what is the total number of HODs who have not signed performance agreements, (b) what is the reason in each case, (c) what action has he taken to rectify the situation and (d) what consequences will the specified HOD face for failing to sign the performance agreements; if so, (i) when was the last performance assessment of each HOD conducted and (ii) what were the results in each case; (2) whether any of the HODs who failed to sign a performance agreement received a performance bonus since their appointment; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) at what rate and (b) what criteria were used to determine the specified rate; (3) whether any of the HODs who signed a performance agreement received a performance bonus since their appointment; if so, (a) at what rate and (b) what criteria were used to determine the rate?

Reply:

(1)(a-d) The HOD (Director-General) was appointed on a 5 year contract with effect from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015 and at the end of his contract the Minister took a decision to reappoint the Director-General (DG) for another 5 years. In terms of the SMS Handbook HOD’s / DG’s are required to sign an annual performance based agreement for the performance cycle (financial year) 1 April – 31 March. To date, DG has complied with this requirement. DG’s last performance assessment was for the financial cycle 2014/15 and was conducted and finalized on 02 December 2015.

(2) Not applicable.

(3)(a-b) DG (HOD) received a performance bonus for the financial year 1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011. DG received a category B outcome at a rate of 8% which was in line with the department’s performance in accordance with the SMS Handbook.

06 October 2016 - NW2023

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Bergman, Mr D to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What formal qualifications does each of his department’s (a)(i) Chief Financial Officers and/or (ii) acting Chief Financial Officers and (b)(i) Directors-General and/or (ii) acting Directors-General possess?

Reply:

The formal qualifications for incumbents at the Department of Home Affairs are as follows:

(a)(i) Bachelor of Laws (Baccalareus Legum Civilium); B Com Business Economics and B Com Honours in Cost Management; Master of Business Administration.

(a)(ii) Not applicable.

(b)(i) Diploma in Management and Administration and B Com (Accounting).

(b)(ii) Not applicable.

06 October 2016 - NW1978

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) For how many days has the online verification system been suspended on the website of his department, (b) what are the reasons for the suspension of the specified system and (c) by what date will the system be fully operational again?NW2289

Reply:

(a) The online verification system has been suspended as of 11 March 2015 on the website of the Department.

(b) The system was accessed by almost everybody who has an idea of how an ID number is constituted, which led to ID number phishing, abuse of the system, denial of services to those who genuinely required using the system as it was intended for. The Department (DHA) also encountered some financial and insurance organisations verifying ID and status of their potential clients without client consent and bypassing of departmental processes when it comes to identity of citizens. All these led to violation of the current legislation and clogging of DHA website.

(c) At the moment there is no envisaged date to open up the system, but there are processes in place to ensure that those who need this service can have access to it. Entities that require online verification of their clients ID and status must follow the prescribed process for application of secure access to the service and are to be governed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect citizens information.

23 September 2016 - NW1807

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether (a) he and/or (b) the Government have taken any steps since 1 January 2013 to ensure that South Africa re-joins the United Kingdom’s visa waiver list; if not, why not; if so, (i) how many times has (aa) he and/or (bb) the Government met with the British authorities to discuss the re-joining of the specified list and (ii) what were the outcomes in each case; (2) whether (a) he and/or (b) the Government have conducted any assessments regarding the specified re-joining since 1 January 2013; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)(a-b) On 10 September 2013 the 10th SA-UK Bilateral Forum was held in Cape Town. At this meeting the two parties agreed that the United Kingdom would send a UK experts group to access South Africa’s passport and border security processes. The honourable Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane co-chaired the meeting with Britain’s then Foreign Secretary, Mr William Hague. This meeting was followed up by eight Senior Officials meetings, three of which took place in 2013, two in 2015 and three in 2016.

During the 2013 meetings the UK authorities informed the South African counterparts of its intention to review their visa policy towards South Africa. It was agreed that a road map be developed for the lifting of visa restrictions for South African diplomatic and official passport holders. This was followed by a UK experts team assessment of South African passport issuance and border management processes, which assessment recognised the improvements made by South Africa.

The 2015 meetings focussed on the United Kingdom seeking response from South Africa on their decision to lift visa restrictions for South African diplomatic passport holders. South Africa’s response was that we would only consider reciprocity if the United Kingdom lifted visa restrictions for all South African passport holders.

The 2016 meetings concerned the continuing requests for the lifting of visa restrictions for all South African passport holders. The UK counterparts are now awaiting the new government’s visa policy where after they will inform the South African authorities accordingly.

(2)(a-b) All efforts made to engage the British government to understand the rationale behind its decision or to at least reconsider by exempting South African diplomatic and official passport holders were in vain.

05 September 2016 - NW1646

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Dudley, Ms C to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether he is aware of a certain person’s (name furnished) urgent plea for assistance with regard to an application for a permanent residence permit (details furnished); if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (2) has his department launched an investigation into the circumstances regarding the delay of this application; if not, (a) why not, (b) will his department investigate and (c) will the specified person be provided with a speedy outcome to the application; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The National Department of Home Affairs is aware of the plea by the referred to person, requesting the finalisation of his permanent residence application; reference number PRP1127280, submitted on 06 October 2014.

(2) When the referred to person originally enquired on the status of his permanent residence application he was provided with a reference number, 1605009216. The Department confirms the application has been received and is currently in the process of adjudication.

The person in question applied for permanent residence in terms of section 26(b) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), as amended: a spouse of a South African citizen, which is classified as one of the high risk categories which requires additional assessment. The Department ordinarily spends more time on applications in this particular category due to investigations that are undertaken.

 

The Department has taken cognisance that the applicant’s temporary residence visa expires on 09 September 2016.

05 September 2016 - NW1677

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Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What are the reasons for the resignation of a certain official (name and details furnished) from the Government Printing Works; (2) whether he appointed a certain official (name and details furnished) to act in the specified position; if so, is the specified person qualified to act in the specified position; (3) does the specified person hold two positions (details furnished) and receive remuneration for both positions; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The former Chief Executive Official (CEO) of Government Printing Works expressed his desire to go back to the medical profession.

2. Yes. The Acting CEO has vast experience in public service, serving in different capacities at all spheres of government.

3. No. The Acting CEO was transferred to Government Printing Works as General Manager: Special Projects for a period of 12 months and was later appointed acting CEO of Government Printing Works upon departure of the former CEO.

29 June 2016 - NW1476

Profile picture: Hoosen, Mr MH

Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether any staff members of his department’s immigration services unit are owed any outstanding overtime salary payments; if so, (a) how many staff members are affected, (b) what is the total amount of outstanding overtime salary payments owed to the specified staff members, (c) for how long have the specified payments been outstanding and (d) what are the causes of the delays in making the specified payments?

Reply:

(a) Based on our records as at 20 May 2016 there are 110 staff members from Immigration Services affected.

(b) The total amount is R658 012.69.

(c) The period outstanding varies from April 2015 to March 2016 for seven (7) staff members (costs incurred monthly). For seventy six (76) staff members, the costs were incurred in November 2015. For one (1) staff member, the costs were incurred in December 2015. For four (4) staff members costs were incurred between January and March 2016. For twenty two (22) of the staff members, the costs were incurred in March 2016. In view of this, the periods during which the payments have been outstanding vary.

(d) The causes for the delay in making the specified payments include: delayed submission of overtime claims for payment, and delayed authorisation for the payment of overtime claims.

06 June 2016 - NW1547

Profile picture: Hadebe, Mr TZ

Hadebe, Mr TZ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) What amount did (i) his department and (ii) each entity reporting to him spend on advertising in the 2015-16 financial year and (b) how much has (i) his department and (ii) each entity reporting to him budgeted for advertising in the 2016-17 financial year?

Reply:

The information is tabulated hereunder:

 

Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Response

DHA Response

 
  1. Budget spend on Advertising in 2015/16
  1. Advertising Budget for 2016/17

(i)

R 10 882 439.95

R 5 654 000.00

 

Government Printing Works (GPW) Response

GPW Response

(ii)

R 519 812.27

R 774 000. 00

 

Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) response

IEC Response

(ii)

R 58 894 341.54

R 36 040 255.00

06 June 2016 - NW935

Profile picture: Bhanga, Mr BM

Bhanga, Mr BM to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Has (a) he and/or (b) his Deputy Minister ever (i) met with any (aa) member, (bb) employee and/or (cc) close associate of the Gupta family and/or (ii) attended any meeting with the specified persons (aa) at the Gupta’s Saxonwold Estate in Johannesburg or (bb) anywhere else since taking office; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in each specified case, (aaa) what are the names of the persons who were present at each meeting, (bbb)(aaaa) when and (bbbb) where did each such meeting take place and (ccc) what was the purpose of each specified meeting?

Reply:

(a-b)(aa-cc) In the course of our official duties and since taking office neither I nor the Deputy Minister have knowingly held any official meetings with persons who are, or who are associates of or employees of any persons whose surname or family name is Gupta, (although we do not claim to know all employees nor all associates of persons whose surname or family name is Gupta). However, this response should not be construed to mean that we have not been introduced to persons in question, for instance, in relation to our promotional and communications work for the Department of Home Affairs, whilst appearing at ANN7/SABC 2 Breakfast briefings, and attending various events and functions where such persons may have been in attendance together with various other persons in relation to which it is not expected that minutes or attendance is recorded.

(ccc) Not applicable in view of the answers given above.

02 June 2016 - NW1512

Profile picture: Balindlela, Ms ZB

Balindlela, Ms ZB to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether his department was approached by any political party for any form of funding (a) in the (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether his department provided any form of funding to any political party (a) in the (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case

Reply:

(1-2) No.

01 June 2016 - NW1175

Profile picture: Hoosen, Mr MH

Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1) How many records of voters with valid physical addresses appeared on the final voters’ roll of the local government elections in (a) 2001, (b) 2006 and (c) 2011; (2) how many records of voters with valid physical addresses (a) appeared on the final voters’ roll of the (i) provincial and (ii) national elections in (aa) 2004, (bb) 2009 and (cc) 2014 and (b) appear on the most recently updated voters’ roll for the 2016 local government elections; (3) whether there has been any reduction in the number of records of voters with valid physical addresses since 2004; if so, (4) has any of the specified records been (a) lost and/or (b) destroyed due to fire, floods and/or any other reason; if so, (i) how many and (ii) what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The Electoral Commission did not keep a record of the number of valid

physical addresses on the final voters’ roll for the local government elections in 2001, 2006 and 2011.

(2) The Electoral Commission did not keep a record of the number of valid physical addresses on the final voters’ roll for the provincial and national elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections. Following the Constitutional Court judgment in Kham on 30 November 2015, the Electoral Commission for the first time ahead of both registration weekend held in March and April 2016, produced a voters’ roll with addresses and requested registered voters to confirm or correct their address details on the voters’ roll. Following the last voter registration weekend in April 2016 the status of addresses on the voters’ roll is as follows on the table below:

Category

Number of Voters Affected

Voters with Addresses and REC AS

14,174,525

Potentially Incomplete Addresses

6,635,458

No Addresses

5,491,430

Grand Total

26,301,413

The different categories used in the table are as follows:

(a-b) The “complete addresses category includes only those voters who have a complete conventional urban address with at least the following four line-items: street number, street name, suburb and town. The reason this category is defined in such narrow terms is because only addresses that meet all four of these requirements is definitely a complete address. It is accordingly the only assumption that can be fed into the database to obtain a definite figure of complete addresses. However, in response to the Kham Judgment, this category also included recent transaction during the Reg 1 and Reg 2 weekends and the category was expanded to include those who had submitted sufficient particulars in terms of the REC AS forms.

The “no addressescategory includes voters in respect of whom no physical residential address is captured. This includes: (i) voters whose Rec 1 forms have been lost; (ii) voters who have left the address section in the Rec 1 form blank or have indicated that they have no formal residential address (e.g. by writing the words “N/A” or “none” in the address section); and (iii) voters who have provided only a postal address.

The “potentially incomplete addresses category is all the remaining addresses. Many, and possibly the vast majority, of these addresses are complete for the purposes of s 16(3). But it is impossible to determine whether they are complete by making general assumptions (for input into the database) without examining these addresses individually.

(3) As the records of the number of valid addresses were not kept it is impossible to make a determination of a reduction or increase. However since the decision of the Constitutional Court in Kham over 4 million addresses and sufficient particularities have been obtain from voters.

(4) Some REC 1 forms have been lost over the years as a result of mishaps and unexpected events – with REC 1 forms being lost in transit (as they move from voting/counting stations to local IEC offices to provincial warehouses) or damaged in storage. The IEC has not kept a catalogue of these incidents. Some of the incidents include the following:

(a) During 2001, flooding at a warehouse used by the IEC for storage of some of its records in eThekwini metropolitan municipality, KwaZulu-Natal destroyed a number of REC 1 forms dated 1998 and 1999.

(b)(i-ii) In Msinga local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, the REC1 forms for the period 1998 to 2008 were erroneously discarded by a removal company when the IEC vacated a rented storage facility. This was discovered during the 2010/2011 bulk scanning project.

- A fire broke out at a Metrofile (Pty) Ltd warehouse in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal province on the night of 11 October 2013, where the IEC stored some of its records. This fire did not, however, result in any loss of voter data as the REC 1 forms destroyed in the fire had already been scanned and captured.

- On 15 November 2013, about 1,500 REC 1 forms were destroyed by fire during the unrest in the Metsimaholo Municipality, Free State.

- The Sol Plaatjie municipal electoral office in the Northern Cape was flooded in February 2014. This resulted in the loss of approximately 15,000 REC 1 forms.

- In March 2015, 3,900 REC 1 forms were destroyed by fire during community protests in the Mantsopa Municipality in the Free State.

30 May 2016 - NW1265

Profile picture: Hoosen, Mr MH

Hoosen, Mr MH to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1) Whether his department received permission from the National Treasury to enter into the visa processing tender with VFS; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) (a) who signed the visa processing contract with VFS and (b) on what date was the specified contract signed; (3) whether VFS is (a) linked to and/or (b) part owned by (i) any member of and/or (ii) any subsidiary company linked to the Gupta family; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) No, because in the Department’s view the permission of Treasury was not required in such a case. This matter is the subject of litigation and is before the courts.

It should be pointed out however that the Department followed National Treasury Regulations and the relevant legislative provisions in awarding the tender. National Treasury was supplied with the Department’s procurement plan for the financial year 2013/2014 on 30 April 2013. This plan included inter alia, outsourcing VISA application services in South Africa. The contract was procured through Departmental bid / tender processes. A tender was advertised in the Tender Bulletin No. 2762 on 22 February 2013 in compliance with National Treasury Regulations.

While the term ‘visa processing’ is understood to be used loosely by the Member, it is important to point out that VFS Global does not process South African visas – it receives and transmits South African visa applications to the Department for adjudication and where relevant, visa production.

(2)(a) The contract was signed by the Director-General: Mr Mkuseli Apleni.

(2)(b) 05 September 2013.

(3)(a)(bi-ii) The VFS Company with which the Department has a contract is not to our knowledge, linked to and/or partly owned by any member of or subsidiary company belonging to the Gupta family.

The Department entered into a contract with VFS Global, which operates through its registered entity, VFS Visa Processing (South Africa) Proprietary Ltd, which is a subsidiary of VFS Worldwide Holdings Ltd that is registered in Mauritius, and the ultimate beneficiary owner of VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd is Kuoni Travel Holdings Ltd, registered in Zurich, Switzerland. According to VFS documentation and organisational structure, in Africa VFS Global operates in 10 countries through its registered corporate entities.