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17 December 2020 - NW2587

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether he has found that certain persons (names furnished) are within the borders of the Republic illegally; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the further relevant details; (2) (a) how did the illegality arise and (b) which officials will be held accountable; (3) what are the details of his plans to deal with the dire challenges of the immigration system such as (a) the ever-growing number of undocumented migrants within the Republic’s borders, (b) reports that illegal migrants are favoured for jobs, (c) corruption within his department which leads to the selling of South African documentation such as IDs and other permits and (d) an abuse of the refugee and asylum seeker system by some individuals?

Reply:

(1) They were found to have been issued in June 2016 with permanent residence permits in terms of a provision in the Immigration Act 13 of 2020 they did not qualify for, not having met its requirements. The application did not, inter alia, comprise of proof of the financial guarantees (prescribed minimum net worth in the amount of R12 million plus an undertaking that the applicant will pay R120 000 to the Director-General).

(2)(a) A Non-Profit organisation was used to process the application, despite the fact that it is not regarded as a business.

(2)(b) The investigation is proceeding into the application and adjudication methods and disciplinary proceedings will be initiated on completion of the evidence collection process.

(3)(a) Inspectorate is engaged nationally in the detection of illegal immigration activity through investigations, joint operations with other law enforcement agencies and inspections of entities including businesses.

(3)(b) It is not apparent what reports are being referred to and therefore the question is not substantiated.

(3)(c) In mitigation, the Department has prioritised modernisation of its visa and permitting system to ensure that all priority categories of face value documents are subject to independent clearance phases through the use of an electronic Visa Adjudication System (VAS). Ongoing development of the VAS system is being undertaken to incorporate all categories of visas and permits and thus eliminate manual files and work processes.

(3)(d) The abuse of the asylum system in the main stems from porous borders and the delays in finalizing asylum applications. In this regard the department is finalizing the operationalization of the BMA, whilst amendments were made on the Refugee Act to allow proper capacity at SCRA and RAASA to be able to conclude asylum applications within the prescribed turnaround times.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2928

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Following renewed attacks on truck drivers, what (a) progress has his department made to identify all undocumented and/or illegal migrants within the borders of the Republic and (b) has he done, in partnership with the Minister of Labour, to address the concerns of South African truck drivers and South Africans in general that illegal and/or undocumented migrants are preferred for low skilled or no skilled job opportunities?

Reply:

a) The department continues through its inspectorate to actively conduct inspections and operations in partnership with other law enforcement agencies to deal with all transgressors of immigration legislation. The department has continued with its enforcement and deportation functions throughout the period of the lockdown.

b) With regard to the issues relating to migrant employment the Minister of Employment and Labour and the Minister of Home Affairs co-chair an inter-ministerial committee on migration which is preparing a programme to address these issues which include, amongst others, policy directives, international benchmarking and enforcement responses.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2946

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to the Home Affairs office in Nigel which was offline from 13/11/2020 until 18/11/2020 due to a faulty data line, (a) why did it take four working days to repair the faulty data line, (b) which entity and/or service provider is responsible for resolving issues on the data line, (c) what is the resolution turnaround time on a faulty data line as per the service level agreement with the responsible entity and/or service provider, (d) what penalties and/or actions will be taken against the responsible entity and/or service provider in cases where the resolution time exceeded the service level agreement time and (e) why was a mobile unit not provided outside the office to assist citizens while the office was offline for four days?

Reply:

(a) SITA was notified on Friday 13 November 2020 about the faulty data line in Nigel office and were supposed to dispatch the Telkom technician to the site but that did not materialise. Later that day after a remote diagnosis SITA called the DHA Regional IT Officer informing her that there is no sound from the office’s router, they suspected that it was switched off and then asked her to confirm if it had power. It was confirmed to SITA that power was on for the router and pictures were sent as proof and that is when the latter confirmed that it implies that there was nothing wrong on their side with reference number: Ref 20894281

On Monday,16 November 2020 the Regional IT Officer revisited Nigel to check the equipment in liaison with the departmental HQ networks technician and that is when it was confirmed that indeed the router was not responding as the Network Card slot was dead. The card slot was changed but unfortunately that slot was not configured as the password to configure was not working, all passwords were tried and still did not work. On the 17 November 2020, the networks technician managed to crack the password, did new configurations on the other slot and inserted the router as they had removed it on 16 November 2020 and that caused a delay. The matter was resolved late and thus clients could not be assisted and were only attended to on 18 November 2020.

(b) SITA and the internal DHA IT Infrastructure team were responsible for resolving the problem.

(c) In Terms of the Service Level Agreements between SITA and DHA the following are adhered to:

  • Mean time to respond is 4 Hours
  • Mean Time to Resolve is 16 Hours

(d) The penalties are applied when Service Level Agreements are not met by the service provider in this case the responsibility was on both DHA IT and State Information Technology Agency and the contracts management team will advise on the penalties to be levied if any, due to shared responsibilities.

(e) The allocated and limited number of mobile units have a set schedule and were already deployed as confirmed with various stakeholders as they relieve the offices when there is high influx of clients for management of queues.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2488

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) is the total backlog of (i) asylum applications of asylum seekers, (ii) the Refugee Appeal Board and (iii) the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and (b) total number of cases have been finalised in the period 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 by (i) the Refugee Appeal Board and (ii) the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs?

Reply:

(a)(i) As at 30 June 2020 there were 3656 cases at RSDO level.

(a)(ii) The total number of cases at the Refugee Appeal Board (Now Refugee Appeals Authority) is 123 424 as at 18 September 2020

MONTHS

 

APRIL 2020 TO SEPTEMBER 2020 

   

No. of Cases heard

No. of Cases finalized and decisions issued

No. of cases Confirmed as unfounded

No of cases upheld

No of condonations dismissed

No of condonations granted

No of no show cases

No. of Cases referred back to RROs (RSDO)

No of cases cancelled

DESMOND TUTU

 

0

376

14

34

0

0

5

115

323

MUSINA

 

0

100

51

12

0

0

6

0

31

DURBAN

 

26

308

39

61

0

0

1

0

207

CAPE TOWN

 

137

114

21

11

0

0

0

0

82

PORT ELIZABETH

 

30

83

31

9

0

0

0

0

43

TOTAL

 

193

981

156

127

0

0

12

115

686

(a)(iii) The Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) has a backlog of 38185 cases for all the five centre with the majority of cases being at the Desmond Tutu RRO. These are active cases.

(b)(i) The Refugee Appeal Board (Now Refugee Appeals Authority) finalised 981 cases.

(b)(ii) SCRA has finalised 4672 cases.

NO OF CASES

REVIEWED

UPHELD

SET ASIDE

REFERRED BACK

TOTAL FINALIZED

COMMENT

4672

4096

400

176

4672

These cases were only attended to at the Desmond Tutu RRO during the level 3-2 lock down.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2927

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Following his comments that his department led by the Acting Director-General, Mr Jackie McKay, did due diligence to ensure that the self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri were not on the plane with the President of Malawi, what does he make of reports that in fact his statements to Parliament on Tuesday 17 November were not correct and that the Bushiris did leave on the plane with the Malawian President; (2) whether he will launch an investigation into whether any officials of his department were involved in the unlawful exit of the Bushiris from the Republic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details of the investigation that will be conducted?

Reply:

1. Honourable member, I told the committee what I know according to information at my disposal.  If some people have information to the contrary, then they are duty bound to bring it out into the open.  I suggest you approach them to provide proof of their statements. Honestly, I don’t know what they are talking about.

2. The total investigation around the whole Bushiri matter are being conducted by a Joint Team of the whole Justice, Peace and Crime Prevention Cluster. When it is completed, the country shall be informed accordingly.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2897

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What number of offices of his department in each province are capacitated with the system of GENDER maker to assist transgender people to change their gender on their identity documents?

Reply:

All 412 Offices of the Department of Home Affairs are capacitated to receive applications for the category of Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status and are henceforth dispatched to Head Office for further processing. There is a back office unit at head office, Rectifications and Amendments Unit that implements the gender marker on the system to amend the status of transgender people by changing their gender on their respective identity documents, provided the applicants meet the requirements as per the regulations and standard operating procedures has been followed

END

17 December 2020 - NW2680

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Khanyile, Ms AT to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What are the details of the steps his department will take to address the backlog caused by the halting of certain services due to the national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19?

Reply:

  • We made an announcement through a government notice on 24 October 2020 to resume all services except Citizenship applications at the Civic Service Branch of the Department. The Department thereby issued a circular to all staff members, regarding Administrative Protocols for the Lockdown, Containment and management of the COVID-19 in the Department under lockdown level 1.
  • As a result, the Department has recalled 100% staff capacity, mainly in areas where there are backlogs in order to eliminate such backlogs. Under this circumstance, strict adherence to the lock down level 1 protocols is practiced to contain the spread of COVID 19 by ensuring that officials adhere to the protocols in the workplace by maintaining social distancing, adhering to personal hygiene practices (wearing of masks, sanitizing, washing of hands etc.), and further ensuring sufficient ventilation in all workspaces.

 

  • The Department furthermore engaged its stakeholders in the value chain of its products and services, in particular GPW (Government Printing Works) and Skynet courier services, to work overtime during the week as well as over the weekends to assist the Department in eliminating such backlogs.
  • Moreover, the Department has a Business Recovery Plan to deal with backlogs accumulated during lockdown period.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2831

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What has he found to be causing delays with issuing of identity documents?

Reply:

When level 5 lockdown was implemented on 27 March 2020, there were approximately 20 000 identity documents applications at the Department’s Back Office processing facility.

When the Department re-opened to capture first time applications, it was initially necessary for operations to be conducted with the most essential staff only to adhere to the limitations of the Disaster Management Act protocols (social distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands as well as ensuring sufficient ventilation).

Furthermore, the Department’s operational facilities are generally open plan offices, consequently, as and when there are confirmed Covid-19 cases, the Department has to release officials who were in contact with a positive case, who must then isolate and are not available for duty, which also causes delays in the finalising and issuing of Identity documents.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2768

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What total number of staff members do the (a) Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and (b) Refugee Appeal Board have in each province; (2) (a) what total number of appeals are the specified (i) committee and (ii) board currently seized with and (b) how long will it take to clear the backlog of cases that must be finalised; (3) (a) what total number of asylum seekers and/or refugee appeals were turned down over the past 10 years and (b)(i) how did his department ensure that those who were asked to leave the country did in fact do so and (ii) what number of the specified individuals were deported?

Reply:

1(a) Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) has a Chairperson and 2 members at head office Pretoria (3). Admin Support staff at head office Pretoria is a total twelve (12).

There are no SCRA members at the regions, members at the head office from time to time visit the five centres on rotational basis., process is underway to appoint 2 Members for Desmond Tutu RRO; 1 for Cape Town and PE RRO; 1 for Durban RRO for a period of two years to attend to the backlog. Over and above that 2 additional Members shall be appointed for a period of five years to be based at the SCRA head office.

(1)(b) The Refugee Appeals Board (currently Refugee Appeals Authority) have the following staff in numbers :

  • Pretoria: 1 Member and Chairperson and 13 Admin staff/Officials,
  • Cape Town: 1 Member
  • Musina, Port Elizabeth and Durban have no staff

(2)(a)(i) SCRA has 29579 cases as at 11 November 2020

(2)(a)(ii) The total number of appeals is 123 424 as at 18 September 2020.

(2)(b)(i) It will take about 2 years to clear the SCRA backlog.

(2)(b)(ii) Based on the Auditor General’s 2019/2020 report if the current capacity of RAASA remains the same, it would take more than 60 years to clear the backlog. However currently, a plan is in place to increase the Authority’s capacity with 36 members, this will mean that the backlog can be cleared within 4 years.

(3)(a)(i) 317245

(3)(a)(ii) The total number of appeals rejected over the last 10 years is 13 572.

(3)(b)(i) Failed Asylum Seekers are either given an order to leave the Republic of South Africa or are detained for the purposes of deportation.

(3)(b)(ii) The records of failed Asylum Seekers who have been deported is as follows :

2015 - 1

2016 - 113

2017 - 561

2018- 110

2019 - 69

2020 - 22

It is only in recent years that we have been doing a breakdown of the analysis of deportees prior status.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2739

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What (a) number of offices of his department have been offline and unavailable to render services at any time during the month of October 2020 due to the system downtime and (b) has been the total number of downtime in hours for all offices of his department during the month of October 2020 due to (i) State Information and Technology Agency system downtime, (ii) power outages, (iii) faulty office equipment, (iv) last-mile connectivity problems and/or (v) any other specified reason; (2) whether his department has any mechanism in place to advise citizens that any specific office is offline so that they don’t waste time unnecessarily travelling to an office that is offline; if not, (3) whether there are any plans to introduce such an early warning system to prevent citizens from wasting time and money travelling to an office that is offline; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details of the plans?

Reply:

(1)(a) There were about 7 times in October where system was offline, impacting all Live Capture offices nationwide and there were also incidents affecting individual offices which caused downtime and these include photo booth not working, camera functionality etc.

(1)(b) The current report configuration does not store the downtime in hours but SITA has been requested to create this reports effective 1st of December 2020.

(1)(b)(i) State Information and Technology Agency system downtime,

There are a couple of issues that cause offline or refer to an office as offline. It can be infrastructure issues like cable theft, dependent on as external service provider, Server issues, power outages and application issues or office equipment issues.

(1)(b)(ii) power outages

A consolidated report from SITA is not available for this metric. SITA has been requested to make this report configuration effective 1st of December 2020. There were approximately 20 calls logged for office equipment like FLO (Front Line Officer), Photobooth and some scanners, which did not affect the whole office operations entirely.

(1)(b)(iii) faulty office equipment,

Workstations hardware for Live Capture System (Modernised offices) are actively supported through a 3 year warranty system; and are refreshed every 4 years as per the Tech Refresh Plan. When a workstation required replacement, there is a process to replace computers and peripheral devices that are stored for such purpose both at Head Office and Provincial Head Quarters.

(1)(b)(iv) last-mile connectivity problems and/or (v) any other specified reason

A consolidated report from SITA is not available for this metric. SITA has been requested to make this report configuration effective 1st of December 2020.

(1)(b)(v) Not applicable.

(2) No there is no mechanism in place to proactively inform citizens before travelling as outages are not known upfront or predictable. However Provincial Managers do engage local media to inform Public where major downtimes are experienced and clients are redirected to other offices

(3) The Department is still investigating various options to proactively engage citizens regarding the state of offices.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2677

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) total number of temporary asylum seeker permits are currently active as at 1 November 2020 and (b) total number of asylum seekers and/or refugee appeals were turned down over the past 10 years?

Reply:

a) Based on data extracted 11 November 2020 there are 175 461 persons with section 22 permits active.

b) The total number of appeals that were turned down over the past 10 years is 13 572 (as at 12 November 2020).

c) 

END

11 December 2020 - NW2947

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to his statement on 10 July 2019 that only 391 of 1445 health facilities handling births have Home Affairs officials and his commitment that the specified officials will be available at all 1445 health facilities (details furnished), what (a) total number of additional health facilities now have Home Affairs offices since July 2019 and (b) is the plan to cover all health facilities by the end of the current five-year term in 2024?

Reply:

(a – b) Follow-up to my Budget Vote statement on 10 July 2019, the Department of Home Affairs embarked on a large-scale project to roll-out online birth registration system in all 1445 health facilities. The project roll-out plan was adopted as outlined below:

Milestones

Estimated Completion Timeframe

Optimisation of 41 Priority 1 health facilities

2019/20 Financial year

Optimisation of 210 Priority 2&3 health facilities

2021/22 Financial year

Optimisation of 127 Priority 4 & 5 health facilities

2022/23 Financial year

Roll-out of birth registration system in 1067 new Priority 4 & 5 health facilities

2023/24 Financial year

The activities of the project involve optimisation of existing health facilities with DHA presence with the aim of enhancing network connectivity and space. The project commenced with the optimisaiton of 47 priority 1 (high actual births delivered) health facilities which were completed during 2019/2020 financial year. The next stage is the roll-out of 210 priority 2 and priority 3 health facilities which will be completed by the end of 2021/22 financial year. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the department could not implement the second stage of the project this financial year and had to roll the stage over to the next financial year. The third stage involves rolling out of online birth registration in 127 priority 4 and 5 health facilities and 1067 priority 5 health facilities will be completed in 2024/25 financial year.

The Department of Home Affairs depended heavily on network connectivity for the registration of birth and this project incorporated provision of uninterruptable network in all 1445 health facilities. The department has provided uninterruptable network, in a form of a router and UPS, in 160 health facilities and is in the process of procuring the services of the service provider to provide network in the remaining 1285 health facilities by the end of 2024/25 financial year. The process of connecting the 1285 health facilities has been with SITA to publish the Bid for the connection. The Business case for the Specification for the Health facilities has already been sent to SITA for the Publication of the Bid.

END

11 December 2020 - NW2846

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Montwedi, Mr Mk to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) By what date is it envisaged that his department will fill in vacant positions in De Aar Home Affairs Office and (b) what measures have been put in place to serve the people in Plakkerskamp in Renosterberg Local Municipality, Northern Cape?

Reply:

a) There is no post identified to be filled as critical in the De Aar office as currently all vacant posts are unfunded. It should be highlighted that there is currently a moratorium for filling of posts in the Department due to the budgetary constraints on compensation of employees as per the recent announcement by National Treasury.

b) The Renosterberg municipality is one of four local municipalities that is serviced by the De Aar office. These areas are serviced through Mobile office outreach visits. The mobile itinerary is communicated to the Community Development Workers(CDW’s) and the Department of Social Services amongst other government entities on a monthly basis. This assists us to identify clients in need of our services. The mobile itinerary for December 2020 is as communicated, below:

DATE

LOCAL MUNICIPALITY

TOWN

2-Dec-20

Renosterberg

Petrusville & Van der Kloof

9-Dec-20

Umsobomvu

Noupoort

17-Dec-20

Renosterberg

Phillipstown

23-Dec-20

Emthanjeni

Britstown

     

END

11 December 2020 - NW2810

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to his reply to question 1070 on 23 July 2020, wherein he indicated that in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Miriam Ali and Others [2018] ZASCA 169 (SCA) the judgment would be fully complied with by 15 September 2020, (a) what are the reasons that identity documents have not been issued to all successful applicants in the specified case to date and (b) by what date will the identity documents be issued to the successful applicants?

Reply:

The applications in this regard were considered by the Department in terms of Section 4(3) of the South African Citizenship Act and out of six (6) applications, five (5) were conditionally approved and 1 was rejected. The outcome letters were forwarded to their respective legal representatives/attorneys.

The outcome letters clearly outlined that the successful applicants are directed to approach their local front office of the Department to sign declaration of allegiance forms upon which they would be issued with naturalisation certificates. Upon receipt of the naturalisation certificates the applicants would thereafter be eligible to apply for registration of birth and receive birth certificates allocated with identity numbers, successively they would apply for identity documents as a result.

(a) The Department would issue identity documents subsequent to receipt of applications in this regard, in the prescribed manner.

(b) The date to be issued identity documents will be determined by date of receipt of applications in this respect, with the turnaround times currently set at 54 days for the first issue of a green barcoded ID book.

END

 

11 December 2020 - NW2774

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Zungula, Mr V to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With regard to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operating in neighbouring Mozambique and its growing influence in the Southern African Development Community region, what steps has he taken to secure the borders of the Republic in order to protect our citizens from ISIS and similar terrorist organisations?

Reply:

Honourable Member this is a very complex and sensitive matter best left to the South African National Defence Force, Military Intelligence and State Security Agency.

END

02 December 2020 - NW2763

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) What is the total number of cases of blocked identity documents (IDs) in his department and (b) how long does it take his department to investigate and resolve the matter of a blocked ID?

Reply:

a) The Department has eight hundred and thirteen thousand three hundred and forty-three (813 343) identified cases of blocked identity documents (IDs) under different categories. The afore-mentioned total includes cases that have to remain blocked as these cases are already investigated and/or marked for deletion so that they should not be used again as such.

The breakdown of the categories are as follows:

Description of Markers / Blocked IDs

Number

Immigrant does not qualify for automatic citizenship

222

South West Africa (S.W.A) cases

8214

Death - Correspondence file created (dead or alive cases or fraudulent death)

17747

Illegal Immigrants

145619

Duplicates (ID duplicates for one person having multiple identity numbers and 2 persons sharing same ID number)

517240

Under Investigation for various reasons

70323

Refer to Identification (to investigate fingerprint or biometric records)

53978

Total

813343

It has to be highlighted that when the Department delivers services to citizens and non-citizens of this country, it will come across cases of Identity theft, where an Identity document was acquired illegally, fraudulently, where supporting documents were falsified or inadvertently where identity numbers are duplicated. In all such cases markers are set on the National Population Register(NPR) as a means of ensuring the integrity and credibility of the National Population Register.

In addition, markers are set on identity numbers such as cases that are referred to as “under investigation” for various reasons or causes. When the Department receives cases of this nature, they first have to investigate these cases to establish if indeed the Identity document was acquired illegally, then those Identity numbers are definitely blocked. Where there is sufficient evidence provided to the contrary, markers are lifted accordingly.

The following reasons mainly attribute to why IDs are blocked and markers are set on the National Population Register:

  • Where ID numbers are Duplicated
  • Illegal Immigrants who obtained SA documents fraudulently
  • False registration of Birth, Marriages and Death and;
  • Investigation purposes of suspicious ID obtained fraudulently with falsified supporting documents

b) It takes the department approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks to resolve and to finalise blocked Identity documents, provided all required supporting documents to resolve these cases are obtained from the applicant. This includes the time when the client visits the front office and the receipt of all requested documentation to resolve the case in line with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).

END

02 December 2020 - NW2847

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Montwedi, Mr Mk to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What are the reasons that his department declared a certain person (name and details furnished) deceased when he is still alive?

Reply:

The person who is declared dead even though he is still alive, is due to the sharing of the same identity number by two persons. The case of the person concerned as per details furnished was declared dead on 13 September 2014 at Vredendal, was received and referred to the relevant section for investigation.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the client had to submit an application with supporting documents to finalise the matter. On 12 November 2020, the documents were only forwarded to Head Office, Pretoria which will be used to verify the owner of the identity number and finalisation thereof.

The applicant will be informed accordingly once finalised.

END

02 December 2020 - NW2811

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What are the (a) reasons and (b) statutory provisions for refusing to register (i) births and (ii) the names of both parents on the birth certificate in the case where parents are of the same gender (details furnished); (2) what (a) steps will he take and (b) measures will he implement in order to ensure the removal of any discriminatory practices being applied to same-sex parents; (3) what are the details of the immediate retroactive steps that will be taken in respect of affected couples so that they can ensure that both names of parents appear on the birth certificate?

Reply:

(1)(a) There should be no reasons for refusal to register birth.

(1)(b) There is no statutory provision for refusal to register birth that meet the requirements as per the Birth and Death Act, Act no. 51 of 1992.

(i) Every child Birth should be registered as per Birth and Death Act.

(ii) Both parent’s details will be reflected on the birth certificate as per Act.

(2)(a) Where there is non-compliance to the Law and the Department is aware, corrective measures will be taken against the official/s.

(2)(b) The Constitution of South Africa promotes equality. The state may not directly or indirectly discriminate against anyone on the grounds of gender, sex or sexual orientation. Refusal to register the birth of a child on the ground that both parents are of the same gender/sex is discriminatory and inconsistent with the constitution. Managers at all levels will ensure that information on birth registration is once more disseminated to all officials responsible for birth registration. No discrimination will be tolerated and if such occurs, the Department will take the necessary actions against the official

(3) The birth registration system allows and accepts the registration of birth of a child born of people of the same sex. The affected couples can approach the Office Manager in charge at the nearest Home Affairs office to get their child registered so that they can ensure that both names of parents appear on the birth certificate.

END

12 November 2020 - NW2399

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

In light of the fact that the Public Servants Association of South Africa has accused his department of victimising and harassing its Director of Law Enforcement, (name and details furnished), what are the details of the job description of a Law Enforcement Officer within his department; (2) whether he has found that the specified person’s investigation of the specified individuals fell outside of her duties; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the further relevant details; (3) whether he has found that the person was engaged in any unlawful conduct; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, why was the person not arrested and charged with a criminal offence?

Reply:

  1. Law Enforcement officials within Department of Home Affairs (DHA) come within 2 categories. there are immigration officers in the inspectorate unit which deal with transgressions under the immigration act and other departmental legislation where a foreign national is attempting to gain a benefit such as using fraudulent information to obtain an ID, birth certification or citizenship. The other law enforcement official is those working within the Counter Corruption and Security Services Branch to combat corruption and unethical conduct by officials within the department. Immigration Inspectorate officials derive their powers under section 33 of the Immigration Act,2002. They can investigate any matter falling under the Immigration Act, subject to the directions of the Minister. Under section 34(1) of the Immigration Act an immigration officer without the need for a warrant may arrest an illegal foreigner, cause him or her to be deported and pending deportation may detain him or her. The job description of an inspectorate official is derived from the Immigration Act, 2002. They are also declared as peace officers under the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977.
  2. The matters relating to this official are part of an ongoing investigation into gross misconduct. The Honourable member is referred to our media statement released on 2 October 2020 (www.dha.gov.za) which addresses this question regarding support provided to the official on investigations they have undertaken.
  3. This matter remains a pending investigation. Further action will be determined following further investigation.

END

12 November 2020 - NW2422

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Mulder, Mr FJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether he will indicate what the position, role and functions of a certain person (name and details furnished) are within his department and/or the Ministry; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what process was followed to appoint the specified person in such a position; (3) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

  1. The person holds no position within the Department or Ministry of Home Affairs as he is not in the employ of the Department. However, the Advocate has represented the Department in various matters in court, like many other counsel, on behalf of the State Attorney.
  2. Not applicable.
  3. Not applicable.

 

END

12 November 2020 - NW2400

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Hicklin, Ms MB to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With regard to the Level 1 lockdown regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19, why (a) Southern African Development Community countries are making it difficult for South Africans to repatriate back home while Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and Eswatini are low-risk countries and (b) are students travelling between Eswatini and South Africa being plagued by Visa requirements as there is no exemption for university students stuck in Eswatini?

Reply:

a) Level 1 Regulations do not pose any restrictions on SADC for South African Citizens to repatriate back home.

b) The Immigration Act requires that any student wishing to register at a recognised learning institution should apply for a study visa authorising them to study in South Africa. Such study visas are issued for the duration of study. South African Missions prioritize study visa applications from all SADC countries. This is done in conjunction with learning institutions to ensure that prospective students from SADC countries are given the necessary support.

END

 

12 November 2020 - NW2337

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to each of his department’s three email addresses, (a) covid19travel@dha.gov.za, (b) covid19exceptions@dha.gov.za and (c) covid19businessexceptions@dha.gov.za, that were used to receive applications during the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, what (i) number of (aa) applications were received between 1 June 2020 and 8 October 2020 and (bb) officials are/were dealing with the specified applications and (ii) was the average time between an application being received and (aa) it being allocated to an official and (bb) resolution being communicated back to the applicant?

Reply:

(a)(b) & (c):

(i)(aa) number of applications were received between 1 June 2020 and 8 October 2020

(i)(bb) number of officials are/were dealing with the specified applications

(ii)(aa) - Requests for travel were allocated within one day to prioritise urgent cases at least 2 days prior to the date of travel.

  • All applications are managed on the basis of striving to achieve a 24hr turnaround, and in order to achieve this a rotational staff roster (as specified above in (i)(bb) has been assigned.

(ii)(bb) Resolutions are communicated within 1-10 days. Immediate communication was send to all applicants in the form of an autoresponse with details on the supporting documentation required for travel, the process and the final Immigration Controls at the Ports of Entry.

 

END

30 October 2020 - NW2168

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether, in accordance with lockdown regulations with regard to travelling across international borders, any authorisation was given to the passengers who made use of a Falcon 900 airplane (VIP) from the SA National Defence Force on 8 September 2020 for a flight to Zimbabwe; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what are the full names of each passenger and (b) in accordance with which requirement of Chapter 5, clause 59(2) of Level 2 regulations was authorisation given to each respective Passenger; (2) will he be prepared to make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

Honourable member, the matter pertaining to the trip of passengers who made use of falcon 900 airplane from the South African National Defence Force on 08 September 2020 for a flight to Zimbabwe, were dealt with by the President of the country. He took a decision to sanction the Minister of Defence because there were irregularities in the manner in which the trip was undertaken under her stewardship. After the action by the President, I regard the matter as closed except that the Public Protector is doing her own investigations.

END

30 October 2020 - NW1872

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What total number of identity documents has his department issued to matric learners as a result of the roll-out of mobile units to assist the specified learners to obtain identity documents since June 2020?

Reply:

Since the start of the schools project to assist leaners with identity documents on 16 June 2020, the total number of identity documents issued to learners is 229 954.

END

29 October 2020 - NW2191

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Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What total number of (a) persons must work at the Sterkspruit office in line with the organogram and (b) positions are (i) filled and/or (ii) vacant; (2) by what date will all the vacant positions be filled; (3) whether the Sterkspruit office is fully functional on a daily basis; if not, what main challenges are experienced; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) by what date does he envisage will the Sterkspruit office be fully functional on a daily basis?

Reply:

(1)(a) Fifteen (15) officials, in terms of the Organogram, must work at the Sterkspruit Local Office

(1)(b)(i) (a) 1x1 Office Manager - Filled,

(b) 1x1 Civic Service Supervisor - Filled,

(c) 1x1 Mobile Operator - Filled,

(d) 1x1 Messenger - Filled,

(e) 5x1 Admin Clerks – Filled

(f) 2x1 Immigration Officers - Filled,

(g) 1x1 Cleaner – Filled

(1)(B)(ii) (a) 2x1 Admin Clerks – Vacant-Unfunded

(b) 1x1 Control Immigration – Vacant-Unfunded,

2. Vacant posts will be filled when funds are available.

3. The office is fully functional, except when the Network is down.

4. The Sterkspruit Local Office is fully functional, on daily basis.

END

 

29 October 2020 - NW1838

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) total number of Home Affairs offices have been closed since the beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, (b) services have been affected the most and (c) measures has his department put in place to deal with the backlog?

Reply:

a) A total of 92 offices were closed since beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

b) The following services were affected during the period:

  1. Death registration
  2. Births Registration
  3. Temporary Identity Certificates
  4. Re-issuance of Births Certificates
  5. Collection of Identity Documents
  6. Late Registration of Birth (LRB)
  7. Registration and Solemnization of Marriages
  8. Smart ID Cards applications for leaners
  9. Applications for amendments and rectifications
  10. Withdrawal of records at the back office

c) The Department initiated a recovery plan to workout production lost from various branches as follows:

  1. Implementation of rotational plans or introduction of shift system to cater for those who might be infected by COVID-19.
  2. Gradual re-introduction of services or products to clients using a phased approach
  3. Use of virtual meetings to monitor and report progress.
  4. Continuous communication to clients and the public on new services that were introduced or reopened.
  5. The department has public awareness on services that were reintroduced or reopened.
  6. Use of community Radio and virtual launches on certain products such Smart ID Cards to learners, particularly matriculants.
  7. Use of mobile offices to reach out to communities.
  8. Segmentation of services and directing clients to different catchment areas using pamphlets, provincial managers and local managers to inform clients.

END

 

29 October 2020 - NW1915

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 1307 on 20 July 2020, he confirms that he was aware of the outbreak of Covid-19 since November 2019?

Reply:

As I have previously responded, as far as I know the outbreak of COVID-19 was announced to have started in December 2019 and not November 2019.

END

29 October 2020 - NW2260

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What total amount has his department spent on advertising in media such as (a) radio, (b) television, (c) newspapers and (d) social media; 2) whether he will provide Ms L L van der Merwe with a list of media institutions that benefited from the advertising in the past 12 months; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. (a) Radio - R 10,596,343.00

1. (b) Television - R 2,558,411.13

1. (c) Newspapers - R 3,477,185.20

1. (d) Social Media - R 636,500.00

2. List of Media Institutions:

(a) Radio

  • Mediamark
  • Msg Afrika Technologies
  • Primedia Broadcasting
  • Sabc
  • United Stations
  • Community Radio
  • Alex Fm

(b) Television

  • E SAT TV
  • Dstv Media Sales
  • Mediamark
  • Sabc
  • Media Mansion
  • Mediamark
  • MVM Multimedia
  • Zallywood Ltd

(c) Newspapers

  • Arena Holdings
  • Independent Newpapers
  • Media 24
  • Vuk’uzenzele
  • Ads 24
  • Onshelf Trading Forty Four
  • The Citizen
  • Tiso Blackstar Group

(d) Social media

  • Arena Holdings
  • Independent Newspapers
  • Media24

Remarks: Reply: Approved / Not Approved

 

Mr J W McKay Dr PA Motsoaledi, MP

A/Director-General Minister of Home Affairs

Date: Date:

 

12 October 2020 - NW1874

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) What are the relevant details of the type of visa(s) issued to each of the Cuban medical personnel who arrived in the Republic around 27 April 2020 to assist in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and (b) in what time frame was each visa processed?

Reply:

The Cuban medical personnel who arrived in the Republic around 27 April 2020 to assist in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic were issued with Treaty visas. These visas were issued until 27 April 2021 in terms of the Treaty Agreement between South Africa and Cuba.

END

12 October 2020 - NW1873

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to the proposal to extend his department’s contract with VFS Global to process visa applications on its behalf for another 12 months, (a) what is the current status of the implementation of his department’s Central Adjudication Hub and (b) by what date is it envisaged that the Hub will be fully implemented?

Reply:

The Department established a Central Adjudication Hub at Head Office in November 2019 when it commenced with the testing of eVisa. Adjudication of eVisa applications from abroad was successfully tested at this Central Adjudication Hub. The eVisa is currently being tested in South Africa together with the Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS) and once these systems are fully implemented, the Central Adjudication Hub will also begin to adjudicate eVisa applications in a phased-in approach.

END

 

12 October 2020 - NW2054

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Breedt, Ms T to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether, with reference to the confirmation received with regard to the immigration status of the previous Executive Mayor of the Setsoto Local Municipality (details furnished), his department has successfully taken further legal action against the Council of the Setsoto Local Municipality to enforce compliance with the Immigration Act, Act 13 of 2002; if not, what are the reasons for not taking further action; if so, what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

The matter with regard to the Executive Mayor of the Setsoto Local Municipality was investigated by the department and the outcome was communicated to the Mayor and the local municipality. Subsequent to this a court proceedings were initiated by the Mayor and pending the outcome of this process the department is not able to take further action.

END

12 October 2020 - NW2101

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Phillips, Ms C to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What total number of work visas has been issued to citizens from (a) Chile, (b) Argentina, (c) India, (d) The People’s Republic of China, (e) Canada, (f) United States of America, (g) Russia and (h) Australia since 2016 in order to work in the mining sector of the Republic?

Reply:

  1. Chile – 06
  2. Argentina – 20
  3. India – 3547
  4. The People’s Republic of China – 507
  5. Canada – 71
  6. United States of America – 356
  7. Russia – 52
  8. Australia – 85

END

30 September 2020 - NW1868

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Modise, Ms M to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

In light of the fact that his department reported that it would progressively roll out the Border Management Authority (BMA) in phases and that the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa, has signed the Bill into law, what are the relevant details of the plans of his department to roll out in order to ensure a successful implementation of the BMA over the medium term?

Reply:

The Border Management Authority (BMA) Act of 2020 establishes the BMA, which will be responsible for the implementation of border law enforcement functions, except customs functions, at Ports of Entry and within the maritime and land border enforcement areas of the country.

A BMA Road Map is in place, which will guide the roll-out of the BMA over the short-, medium- and long-term. This 15- year road map is being implemented in an incremental manner over of six (6) phases. The immediate focus in 2020/21 and 2021/22 will be on the first three (3) phases that address:

  • Phase 1: Completing tasks from the Pre-Establishment Phase;
  • Phase 2: Undertaking tasks linked to the Planning and Establishment Phase; and
  • Phase 3: Commencing implementation of the Phase dealing with Initial Roll-Out of the BMA.

Each of these phases have specific identified tasks. Within the context of the limited funding made available to the BMA over the current 2020 MTEF of R109,5m, these priorities and tasks will be flexibly executed. The objective over the current term of government, i.e. 2020 – 2024, is to roll-out the BMA to eighteen (18) Ports of Entry and five (5) segments of the land border enforcement area.

Presently the Department of Home Affairs is focusing on the following immediate tasks:

  1. Finalisation of key BMA legislative instruments which will enable the implementation of the BMA, i.e;
  2. The BMA Commencement Proclamation; and
  3. A Section 97 Presidential Proclamation pertaining to the transfer of border law enforcement functions from relevant organs of state to the Minister of Home Affairs, who in turn will delegate these functions to the BMA.
  4. Preparations for the recruitment and appointment of a Commissioner and two Deputy Commissioners for the BMA. This is key as the Commissioner, in terms of the BMA Act 2020, is legally mandated to recruit and appoint officials of the BMA and the officers of the BMA Border Guard.
  5. Finalisation of separate Implementation Protocols, as required by the BMA Act 2020, between the BMA and the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the Department of Defence. These Protocols will inform the working relationship between the BMA and these organs of state.
  6. Urgent finalisation and implementation of a BMA Border Guard mobilisation, training and deployment strategy which will be implemented for the initial roll-out in 2020/21 across targeted segments of the land border law enforcement area.

END

30 September 2020 - NW1803

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Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) What number of refugees and permit holders have received Covid-19 relief and (b) which countries are the specified refugees and permit holders originally from?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) does not hold the mandate over Covid 19 relief payments. The responsible department is Social Development; therefore DHA is unable to respond to this matter.

END

30 September 2020 - NW1916

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 1307 on 20 July 2020, his department put any measures in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic when it became aware of the outbreak in November 2019?

Reply:

I refer the Honourable member to the response I gave him in Parliamentary Question 1307 on the same matter. I have already responded by indicating there was no announcement of a COVID-19 outbreak in November 2019.

END

29 September 2020 - NW1744

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Hendricks, Mr MGE to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether he will consider an instruction that in cases where women were married by way of a Nikah or Muslim marriage the proposed entry widowed instead of the present entry never married should be used on Muslim death certificates; if so, by what date can the specified proposal be implemented?

Reply:

I wish to point to the honourable member that the designation of “never married” does not affect people in Nikah or Muslim marriages only.

A broad range of South Africans are affected by this problem.

  • Prior to 1994 various laws were used by the different self governing territories or Bantustans wherein each had their own act. When they were amalgamated in the broader South Africa after 1994, they were not on National Population Register.
  • Unfortunately when a marriage does not appear on the National Population Register (NPA) the person’s marital status is technically unknown. Hence their death certificates at death, their certificate reflected as never married.
  • This affects people who stayed in Bantustans and those from the Indian Community whose marriages were never re-registered on the NPA after 1994.
  • Since the introduction of Recognition of Customary Marriages Act. Act 102 of 1998 the government managed to re-register some. Those not yet re-registered still have this unfortunate designation.
  • The Department acknowledges this problem but opted for a wholesale change in the entire marriage regime by developing a totally new policy. We don’t believe a piece meal solution will help.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1481

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What number of operations was his department involved in along the international borders of the Republic in the last quarter of the 2019-20 financial year and the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year to combat (a) stock theft, (b) the smuggling of (i) drugs and (ii) cigarettes and (c) irregular immigration?

Reply:

Combating stock theft, drugs and cigarettes smuggling does not fall under the mandate of Home Affairs. Immigration operations to combat irregular migration are carried out nationally and this includes areas near the border environment. In the last Quarter of 2019-20 financial year, 55 operations / inspections were initiated by the department and a total number of 73 illegal foreigners were arrested. In addition to that, a number of 9 528 illegal foreigners were arrested in operations initiated jointly with other law enforcement stakeholders. The first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year fall within the period of lockdown. Operations were conducted in support of other law enforcement and a total number of 3 482 Illegal foreigners were arrested.

END

 

13 August 2020 - NW1479

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) number of court orders have been granted against his department in relation to (i) visa and (ii) permanent resident applications, (b) number of these court orders has his department not implemented and (c) are the reasons that the specified court orders have not been implemented?

Reply:

a) 

(i) Visas and (ii) permanent resident applications

Year

Visas

Permanent resident applications

2018

12

53

2019

6

257

2020

61

460

Total

79

770

 

b) 

Year

Visas

Permanent resident applications

2018

None

None

2019

None

23 of 257 (pending at various stages of adjudication)

2020

18 of 59 (pending at various stages of adjudication)

192 of 460 (pending at various stages of adjudication)

Total

18

192

c) 

The spousal and refugee categories of permanent residence applications require investigation on the existence of spousal relationships and the verification of the certification by the Standing committee, which takes some time to finalise. However, the adjudication team has resumed work during June 2020, and is adjudicating all outstanding applications whilst application offices of application (VFS Global) is still closed for new applications, save for collection of outcomes, under the Alert Level 3 of the national state of disaster. It is envisaged that by the end of August, all applications would have been finalised

END

13 August 2020 - NW1464

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Singh, Mr N to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to his reply to question 1505 on 2 December 2019 and the reply to the question put by Mr L Govender from the KwaZulu-Natal department of Public Works (details furnished), what is the position regarding (a) the relocation of the specified office in Umlazi and (b) modernising the office in Chatsworth?

Reply:

(a) The mandate of sourcing office accommodation for departments lies with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).

Umlazi - Currently the office has a small office at the Magistrate’s Court in Umlazi rendering the following services: Birth and Death registration, Amendments, Rectifications and Green Barcoded IDs; the Department is however looking at relocating the current Prospecton Medium Office to Umlazi and modernise the office.  The Department is currently in negotiations with the Department of Public works and the Ethekwini Metro Municipality to obtain suitable premises. A possible Public Works premises has been identified but it needs substantial renovations.  We aim to have the new office in Umlazi fully functional and operational by the end of the 2021/22 financial year.  The reason for these extended projections is that the building identified need extensive renovations and there is a dependency on Public Works to finalise and move forward with the project.

(b) Chatsworth - The Department currently have a Medium office situated in the Chatsworth area operating from the SASSA building in the centre of Chatsworth. We are already operational in this area with the following services: Birth, Marriages and Death registration, Amendments, Rectifications, and Green Barcoded IDs. The DPWI has provided a report to the department detailing the renovation costs and these were too high to warrant the department of Home Affairs to continue with the renovations. The Department of Home Affairs has thus requested DPWI to source suitable alternative accommodation so that the Chatsworth office can be relocated and modernised. The time frame for modernisation will depend on DPWI sourcing the alternative accommodation.

One must take note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the department has reprioritised funding to help manage this pandemic within the operations and this is likely to have an impact on the above plan.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1192

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether his department has investigated the allegations attributed to a certain person by a certain publication (details furnished) that Zimbabweans who were repatriated to Zimbabwe through Beitbridge border on the weekend of 16 and 17 May 2020 were declared undesirable persons, contrary to the Home Affairs statement of 14 April 2020 that holders of visas which expired from mid-February 2020 and who did not renew their visas before the lockdown will not be declared illegal or prohibited persons; if not, why not; if so, what (a) remedial action has his department taken in this regard and (b) number of Zimbabweans have been declared undesirable at all South African border posts due to visas that expired during the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19?

Reply:

There were people that were declared undesirable during this period. The system automatically declares an over stayer undesirable and in this instance, the manager was supposed to override the system and ensure that nobody is declared undesirable. This was an oversight which was corrected and those that were identified by the department as affected by this, have been cleared. There are others that may have been unnoticed during this exercise. They are in contact with the department and are being assisted on a case-by-case basis to remove their undesirability status on the movement control system.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1246

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1) What are the reasons for the overspending on immigration and deportation-related issues in the 2019-20 financial year; (2) what are the costs incurred by his department on the deportation of immigrants in the specified financial year; (3) whether any monies have been recouped from the countries of the deported immigrants; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) what are the relevant details of monies (a) paid by his department and (b) received on deportation from each country of deported immigrants for the past 12 months?

Reply:

(1) The increased number of arrests of illegal immigrants would have resulted in releases if the deportations were not implemented;

(2) The deportations costs incurred by the department was R23,329,354.82 in 2019/20 financial year;

(3) The country’s policy position of recouping the costs incurred in returning illegal immigrants to their countries of origin is the subject of ongoing bilateral discussions led by the DHA and DIRCO. All countries have to date indicated a lack of funds in relation to this. In SADC and South America, Consular services in foreign missions such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Brazil and Venezuela are actively involved in assisting the deportees to source funds for self-payment from their relations. The assistance also extends to the purchase of bus and flight tickets by the Consular Officers;

(4) what are the relevant details of monies (a) paid by his department and (b) received on deportation from each country of deported immigrants for the past 12 months?

(a) Deportation expenditure amounted to R23,329,354.82.

(b) Self-deportation costs by foreign nationals were R5,634,165.20.

 

END

13 August 2020 - NW1661

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What total number of identity documents have been issued since his department and the department of Basic Education intervened as partners to ensure that learners in need of identity documents are registered in the system?

Reply:

Since the formalisation of the partnership between the Departments of Basic Education and Home Affairs through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 1 March 2010, a total number of 8 989 858 Identity documents were issued to first time applicants, ie.16 years of age and above, for the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2020.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1635

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(a) What are the reasons that his department considered and/or granted two-year and one-year extensions to a certain company (name furnished), (b) why did it take two years just to release the Request For Information and (c) what are the processes that will now unfold pertaining to the four companies who have been identified as being able to provide the services in question?

Reply:

a) In December 2018, DHA was required to extend the contract with VFS for a period of 24 months, effective 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020. The extension was necessitated at the time to ensure continuity of the Departments business operations globally. On the instruction of the Department, the service provider holds a presence in 18 territories globally with frontline services being offered through 45 Visa Application Centres (VAC’s)– all of which are situated within strategic international nodes critical to the conduct of foreign-based travel, investment and business into the RSA. An unstructured change at the time would potentially have placed operational efficiencies at risk. Considering the complexity of such a global frontline services operating model, the Department had to ensure service continuity by extending the contract for the period referred. This extension also provided opportunity for the department to build an independent capability to render equivalent services through the development of an electronic eVisa platform, which was demonstrated to The President in October 2019. This is under a phased, controlled release which has been delayed in 2020 with the advent of COVID-19 resulting in a global shutdown of international travel and service-based operations.

b) The Department started the procurement process in January 2018 when its Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) approved the open tender process. The Bid Specification Committee (BSC) undertook the drafting of technical specifications. At that stage, a parallel process was initiated to request a legal opinion whether the Department should proceed with an open tender process or defer to a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) process. A legal opinion was received on 26 April 2018 through the Office of the State Attorney, wherein it was recommended that the Department should proceed with a PPP process. Further consultations took place with the Senior Council, Finance, Supply Chain Management and National Treasury to ensure that the process was legally compliant. In October 2018, National Treasury confirmed that the Department should follow the PPP process through a Request for Information ("RFI") to test the market and the results thereof should be shared with the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer. The Department published an RFI in December 2019. Seven responses were received by 17 January 2020 with four companies assessed as compliant. This information was submitted to National Treasury on 08 April 2020.

c) The Public Private Partnership (PPP) was registered with National Treasury under GTAC. A letter of PPP confirmation was received from National Treasury on 16 January 2020. The PPP engagement with GTAC was delayed with the onset of COVID-19 and lockdown instituted since 26 March 2020. However, following the easing of lockdown conditions, the engagement with GTAC on the PPP started in June 2020 and is continuing in order to implement the PPP process.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1575

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What (a) are the reasons that his department’s documents applied for at South African missions overseas are not couriered back to the missions at a fee to the applicant once processed, in the same manner that printed documents such as passports and identity documents are couriered to local offices of his department by a courier company contracted to his department and (b) efforts have been made by his department to deal with the extraordinary delays experienced by South African citizens who applied at a South African mission abroad in receiving their documents because of problems with regard to diplomatic bags?

Reply:

a) The Department works closely with Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) in terms of the protocols provided by Government. The communication to applicants living abroad is arranged through DIRCO for proper coordination and to address the risk associated to enabling documents.

b) The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and DIRCO prepared a communique to Missions abroad to forward all long outstanding applications to DIRCO and DHA has created an e-mail address to deal with long outstanding applications. Both departments agreed on the automation of the application process which will be done in the medium to long term with the aim of ultimately reducing turnaround times.

END

 

 

13 August 2020 - NW1519

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether any progress made has been made regarding the investigation of the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) contract which according to the Auditor general was irregularly awarded to a certain company (name furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

  • The Department has appointed an independent audit firm to investigate the matter. This firm was appointed in March 2020 but due to the COVID 19 pandemic, they were only able to commence with the investigation in May 2020.
  • The investigation is still under way, the audit firm has completed the review of phase one (RFB1412/2016) which is the qualification phase of the bid process and they have also interviewed some of the officials from both DHA and SITA. They are now busy with phase two (RFB1498/2016) of the bid process. This also include reviewing of the service level agreement, review of digital imaging data of individuals from SITA, interviews of all other officials from various stakeholders (CSIR, SAPS, ARMS, BIG Group, Core Focus, ENS, Gartner) who formed part of the bidding process.

END

 

13 August 2020 - NW1490

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Khanyile, Ms AT to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)By what date does he envisage that his department will be open for more services, such as letters for retention of SA Citizenship and passport applications and/or renewals; (2) by what date does he envisage that his department will be open for applications for new identity documents, as many South Africans are unable to apply for the social relief of distress grant announced by the President of the Republic, Mr M C Ramaphosa; (3) what steps will his department take to deal with the new backlog caused by the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, whilst noting that the opening up of the specified services will enable his department to deal with the new and remaining backlog and long queues which have remained a challenge for the longest time within various Home Affairs offices?

Reply:

(1) As to whether the Department opens for more services or not and by what date will be determined by lockdown regulations and this decision will be taken by the National Coronavirus Command Council structure when it is ready to do so.

(2) On 3rd of July 2020,I signed into amended regulations, the provision for applications for identity cards or documents for learners. These are essentially new identity document applications (1st issues) that are being catered for. However, since Alert level 5 of lockdown regulations, eligible South African Citizens were allowed to apply for Temporary Identity Card (TIC) which is a valid and authentic enabling document. Therefore, a person who is issued with TIC can also use it to access Social Services including Social Relief grant. Up to so far nobody needing new ID for purposes of accessing social grants was presented to us. If you have any list of such people, please present same to us.

(3) The Department has opened its offices and Services to receive and process applications while observing Covid-19 regulations by allowing one third (1/3) of the Staff compliment at their respective offices at a time. The Department has prioritised and staggered its services which should be applied for and processed. As the country progress from one alert level to the other, the Department will also gradually add other services to enable its offices to cope with the demand whilst complying with Covid 19 regulations.

END

13 August 2020 - NW1483

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With regard to the implementation of the e-visa system, (a) what is the status of and deadline for establishing the central adjudication hub, (b) what is the status of the development of the e-visa software system and deadline for its completion and (c) with a 10% decline in visa applications from China, India and Nigeria between 2018 and 2019 being attributed to longer turnaround times at missions, what actions are being taken by his department to strengthen the capacity of the specified missions that comprise 59% of all visa applications?

Reply:

a) The Department established a Central Adjudication Hub at Head Office in November 2019 when it commenced with the testing of eVisa which took place in Kenya. Adjudication of eVisa applications from abroad was successfully tested at this Central Adjudication Hub.

b) The eVisa System development has been completed.

c) On 10 July 2019, during the Department’s Budget Vote, we committed to increase the number of Officials who are processing visas in our large tourist hubs in China, India and Nigeria. We have since deployed 12 Officials (4 in each country) on a temporary basis to process the large number of tourist applications we receive from these countries. We have also presented a Business Case to National Treasury for permanent appointment in our critical Missions.

END

 

13 August 2020 - NW1482

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With regard to the roll-out of mobile units to issue Matric learners with identity documents, (a) what total number of mobile units were deployed to high schools throughout the month of June 2020 to receive applications for identity documents for Matric learners, (b) does his department intend for the specified mobile units to visit all of the approximately 6 000 high schools across the Republic before the end of the current school year and (c) what plans are being discussed with the Department of Basic Education for learners who will (i) not have identity documents by the end of the current school year due to the lockdown ban on identity document applications and (ii) be unable to receive their results and Matric certificates?

Reply:

a) The total number of mobile units deployed to high schools during June 2020 were 38.

b) The intention is to assist all identified high school learners who are without identity documents who have been through the partnership with the Department of Education.

c) (i)(ii) On 16th June 2020, the Department through the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs launched a national school project in Mpumalanga, to prioritise matriculants for 1st Issue applications by making use of Mobile Units. The arrangement between Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Education is that provincial Departments of Basic Education provide the Home Affairs provincial offices with lists of learners that do not have identity documents as well as schools where such learners can be found. The provincial Home Affairs offices, in collaboration with the identified schools, use the lists to draft schedules for when such learners can be assisted. Furthermore, from 3rd of July 2020, the application for identity document service was opened and is available for learners at all the DHA local offices. This was done as a multipronged approach to ensure all learners in need of an identity document can access this service unhindered.

END

23 July 2020 - NW1070

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

For each of the cases (details furnished) where his department has not complied or partially complied with the court order, (a) why has his department not fully complied with the court order, (b) what steps have been taken to fully comply with the order and (c) by what date will his department fully comply with the order?

Reply:

1. LZ [Mathobula] Mathobela v Minister of Home Affairs & another (Case no. 98386/18 - Gauteng Division, Pretoria - Court Order Date: 12 June 2019)

1.1 This matter involved the application for citizenship in case of doubt in terms of section 15 of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995. The Court ordered that the applicant is a South African citizen and directed the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) to enter the applicant’s particulars in the population register and issue her with a South African citizen identity number, birth certificate and identity document within 30 days of the order.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

1.2 The Court Order was issued in the Gauteng Division of the High Court. It later transpired that the applicant is ordinarily resident in Cape Town. The applicant approached the Cape Town and officials of DHA were not aware of the Court Order.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

1.3 An instruction has been given to the Cape Town office to assist on urgent basis. The applicant’ attorneys have been duly informed.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

The DHA will fully comply by 31 July 2020.

2. Minister of Home Affairs v Miriam Ali and Others [2018] ZASCA 169 (SCA) (Case no. 1289/17, Supreme Court of Appeal – Court Order Date: 30 November 2018)

2.1 The matter pertains to the interpretation of section 4(3) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 (amendment that came into effect on 1 January 2013) in which the main issue was whether or not the section applies with retrospective effect and further is the respondents (on appeal) satisfy the requirements of citizenship by naturalisation. The question was whether in the absence of Regulations, the High Court was correct in directing the Minister to accept applications on affidavits as the order encroached upon the doctrine of separation of powers.

 

2.2 The Supreme Court of Appeal issued the order that:

 

“The Minister shall –

3.1 Within one year of the date of this order make regulations in terms of s 23(a) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 (the Act) in respect of applications for citizenship by naturalisation in terms of s 4(3) of the Act;

3.2 Pending the promulgation of the regulation in 3.1 above, accept applications in terms of s 4(3) South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995, on affidavit.”.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

2.3 The DHA was advised to approach the Constitutional Court (“CC”) as the Order of the SCA had the effect of encroaching upon the subordinate legislative powers of the Minister. The CC declined to hear the matter largely because the DHA delayed in launching the appeal proceedings.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

2.3 The draft Amendment Regulations to deal with the procedure and requirements for making an application have been prepared and finalised. However, the draft Amendment Regulations must be published for public comments before they are promulgated and due to the National State of Disaster, especially the period between 26 March 2020 and early July 2020, a decision taken was that the DHA may not be able to obtain the adequate public comments due to lockdown Regulations. The draft Amendment Regulations ha been gazetted for public comments.

2.4 The applicants have been issued with certificates for citizenship by naturalization.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

 

The DHA will fully comply by 15 September 2020.

3. Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town & 4 others v Minister of Home Affairs & 4 Others, (Case no. 5242/2016 - Western Cape Division, Cape Town - Judgment date: 19 June 2019)

 

3.1 This was an application to review the DHA’s failure to take a decision and make a determination regarding the refugees who are entitled to refugee status and asylum in South Africa by virtue of section 3(c) of the Refugees Act 130 of 1998 because they are dependent spouses and children of the applicants.

3.2 The Court Order dated 19 June 2019 reads:

“The Standard Operating Procedures from the Department satisfies the requirements that entitles the Department to adopt appropriate policies and procedures which facilitate the reception and assessment of claims by dependents of refugees.

Further that such refugee applicants have the right to work, attend school, receive basis and emergency health-care and may not be detained, arrested or deported.”

The Department has conducted training on the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures and the same is being implemented.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

3.3 The DHA has conducted training on the implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures and same is being implemented.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

The DHA has fully complied with the Court Order.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

 

The DHA has fully complied with the order.

4. Lawyers for Human Rights v Minister of Home Affairs and Others [2017] ZACC 22 (CC) (Case no. CCT 38/16, Constitutional Court - Judgment date: 29 June 2017)

4.1 This matter concerned the consideration of the conditions under which illegal foreigners are detained before deportation in terms of section 34 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002. The applicant challenged certain provisions of section 34 relating to detentions . These conditions included a failure to inform foreigners of the rights. The section requires them to be notified of, the inability to exercise these rights owing to lack of resources and legal assistance.

4.2 The court ordered, inter alia, the following:

“2. Section 34(1)(b) and (d) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 is declared to be inconsistent with sections 12(1) and 35(2)(d) of the Constitution and therefore invalid.

3. The declaration of invalidity is suspended for 24 months from the date of this order to enable Parliament to correct the defect.

4. Pending legislation to be enacted within 24 months or upon the expiry of this period, any Illegal foreigner detained under section 34(1) of the Immigration Act shall be brought before a court in person within 48 hours from the time of arrest or not later than the first court day after the expiry of the 48 hours, if 48 hours expired outside ordinary court days.

5. Illegal foreigners who are in detention at the time this order is issued shall be brought before a court within 48 hours from the date of this order or on such later date as may be determined by a court.

6. In the event of Parliament failing to pass corrective legislation within 24 months, the declaration of invalidity shall operate prospectively.

7. The Minister of Home Affairs and the Director-General: Department of Home Affairs shall, within 60 days from the date of this order, file on affidavit a report confirming compliance with paragraph 5, at the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria.”.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order and what steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

4.3 The DHA has filed a report in Court and fully complied with paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Court Order. All illegal foreigners who are arrested and detained for deportation are brought before a magistrate within 48 hours for conformation of detention.

4.4 During 2018, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs introduced a Committee Bill to amend the Immigration Amendment Bill to address the defects in section 34(1) the Immigration Act as declared by the court to be invalid. However, at the end of the term of the fifth Parliament, the Bill was not finalised and therefore not saved. In this regard, the order of invalidity is applicable until proper provision is made in the Immigration Act.

4.5 The DHA has embarked on extensive Policy Review in line with international trends of dealing with immigration and refugee protection in one single legislation.

 

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

 

4.6 The DHA has fully complied with the order. The section declared unconstitutional will be dealt in the said Policy Review.

5. Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town v Minister of Home Affairs [2017] ZASCA 126 (Case no. 1107/2016, Supreme Court of Appeal - Court Order Date: 29 September 2017)

5.1 The matter involved the decision to close refugee reception office under section 18(1) of the Refugees Act 130 of 1998 challenged on the basis of unreasonableness and rationality. The Court found that decision-maker failed to take into account relevant considerations, comply with the empowering provision and committed errors of law.

5.2 The procurement of infrastructure is made through the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (“DPWI”). In this regard, the DHA had identified a site however confirmation was received that the service provider for the identified site will not be continuing with the process. As a result, the signing of lease agreement was not proceeded with.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

5.3 I refer to my answer above.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

5.4 The DHA has engaged DPWI to restart the process for the new tender, and DPWI advised that the Bid Advertisement closed on 25 May 2020 and five (5) bids or responses were received. Due to restrictions on movements due to the National State of Disaster, the process of physical inspections of the five (5) sites as per the bids may be delayed.

5.4 I must add that National Treasury advised the DHA that its budget will be reduced by R562 million in the financial year 2020/2021. This will have a huge negative impact on the DHA’s procurement of infrastructure.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

5.5 Once the above processes are completed, the DHA would have fully complied with the order. The DHA is unable to provide an exact date of compliance as the successful implementation depends on DPWI’s assistance, but monthly reports are furnished to the applicant’s attorneys on progress.

6. Ntumba Guella Nbaya v Director General of Home Affairs (Case No. 6543/15) (Case no. 6534/15, Western Cape Division, Cape Town - Court Order Date: 3 June 2016)

 

6.1 In this matter, the Court ordered the DHA to extend asylum seeker permit applied for in Refugee Reception Offices other than Cape Town. The permits of all those who presented themselves were extended whilst their files were being transferred to the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

6.2 The DHA has fully complied with the Court Order.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

6.3 None as the DHA has complied with the order.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

See my answers above..

7. Mzalisi NO & others v Ochogwu & another [2019] ZASCA 138 (SCA) (Case no. 630/2018, Supreme Court of Appeal - Court Order Date: 1 October 2019)

 

7.1 This matter involved the eligibility of asylum seekers whose status has not been determined to marry whilst lawfully residing in South Africa. The validity of particular paragraph [2.1(b)(iii)(dd)] in the DHA circular imposing absolute ban on asylum seekers seeking to marry was found to be inconsistent with the law and invalid.

7.2 The DHA has since amended the circular to deal with the inconsistency and issued an amended circular during January 2020 to all the Offices of the DHA for implementation. Furthermore, an opinion has been sought from external Counsel on the issue of circulars and directives.

 

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

The DHA has fully complied with the Court.

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

 

The DHA has fully complied with the order.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

 

See my answer above.

8. OZM v Refugee Appeal Board & Others Case No. 44643/14 (Case no. 44643/14, North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria - Court Order Date: 4 June 2018)

8.1 The matter involved a judicial review of the decision of the Refugee Appeal Board (“RAB”) for rejecting the application for refugee status. The Court ordered referral back to the Refugee Status Determination Officer (“RSDO”) for reconsideration within two months.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

8.2 The application is yet to be reheard and contact will be made with the applicant’s attorneys to inform her to avail herself for a rehearing immediately the Refugee Reception Offices resume with their functions. Furthermore, the applicant’s asylum seeker permit has been extended pending the determination of her application.

 

8.3 The DHA will fully comply with the order within 30 days of the opening of the Refugee Reception Offices, as they are currently closed under Alert Level 3 Lockdown.

9. KN & 3 Others v Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs & 7 Others Case No. 50342/16 (Case no. 50342/16, North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria - Court Order Date: 6 November 2019)

9.1 This matter was for a judicial review of the decision of the Refugee Status Determination Officers for rejecting the applications for asylum and the decision of the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (“SCRA”) for upholding the decisions of the Refugee Status Determination Officers. The Court ordered that the matter be remitted for reconsideration by the Refugee Status Determination Officers.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order?

9.2 See my answer below

What steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

9.3 The application is yet to be reconsidered and contact will be made with the applicant’s attorneys to inform the applicants to avail themselves for a rehearing immediately the Refugee Reception Offices resume with their functions. Furthermore, the applicants’ asylum seeker permits will be extended pending the determination of their application.

9.4 By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

The DHA will fully comply with the order within 30 days of the opening of the Refugee Reception Offices, as they remain closed.

10. Abdi Kadir Khalif vs The Refugee Appeal Board & 5 Others Case No. 32474/2017 (Case no. 32474/2017, North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria - Court Order: 15 May 2018)

10.1 The Court ordered the DHA to release the applicant from Lindela Holding Facility to allow him to apply for asylum and the DHA duly complied.

10.2 The judicial review against the decision of the Refugee Appeals Board is still pending. The DHA has filed the record in terms Rule 53 of the Uniform Rules as the matter is opposed.

Why has his department not fully complied with the court order and what steps have been taken to fully comply with the order?

10.3 See answer above.

By what date will his department fully comply with the order?

The DHA has complied with the order.

END

23 July 2020 - NW1517

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McGluwa, Mr JJ to ask the Minister Of Home Affairs

What has his findings been of the work environment and culture at the Government Printing Works? NW1888

Reply:

I will refer the Honourable Member to the report of the Portfolio Committee after the visit of the Committee to the Government Printing Works on 17th June 2020. Honourable member is a member of the Portfolio Committee. I believe The Honourable member has access to the report.

END