ATC210521: Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on the 2021/22 Budget Vote 5, Annual Performance Plan (App) of the Department of Home Affairs, Dated 19 May 2021

NCOP Security and Justice



  1. Introduction

The National Council of Provinces represents the provinces to ensure that the provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government as stated in section 42(4) of the Constitution.  One of these functions is to hold the government to account in respect of how the taxpayers’ money is used. It detects waste within the machinery of government and public agencies. Thus it can improve the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of government operations.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) carries out its mission in line with its commitment to citizen empowerment and inclusivity, economic development and national security, by:

  • Being an efficient and secure custodian of citizenship and civil registration
  • Securely and strategically managing international migration
  • Efficiently managing asylum seekers and refugees
  • Efficiently determining and safeguarding the official identity and status of persons

 The DHA’s services are divided into two broad categories: civic services and immigration services.

On 12 May 2021, the Select Committee on Security and Justice met with the Department on Home Affairs to receive a briefing on the Department’s Annual Performance Plan and budget, through a virtual platform.  The report represents an overview of the Department of Home Affairs annual performance plans and budget.


  1. Strategic Focus and National Development Plan

2.1 Strategic Focus 2020-2025

The DHA carries out its mission in line with its commitment to citizen empowerment and inclusivity, economic development and national security, by:

  • Being an efficient and secure custodian of citizenship and civil registration;
  • Securely and strategically managing international migration;
  • Efficiently managing asylum seekers and refugees; and
  • Efficiently determining and safeguarding the official identity and status of persons.


The DHA has identified the following outcomes for the 2020 to 2025 period:

  • Secure management of international migration resulting in South Africa’s interests being served and fulfilling international commitments;
  • Secure and efficient management of citizenship and civil registration to fulfil constitutional and international obligations;
  • Efficient asylum seeker and refugee system in compliance with domestic and international obligations;
  • Secure population register to empower citizens, enable inclusivity, economic development and national security; and
  • DHA positioned to contribute positively to a capable and developmental state.


2.2 Ministerial Priorities

  • Establish an effective Border Management Authority (BMA);
  • Complete the modernisation programme;
  • Comprehensive review of immigration policy;
  • Upgrade the six (6) key land ports of entry;
  •  Improved client experience through leadership (Moetapele);
  • Critical skills;
  • Early birth registration (including expanding connectivity at health facilities);
  • “War on queues”;
  • Key elements of the White Paper on Home Affairs which was approved by Cabinet for implementation in December 2019; and
  • Improvement of service delivery initiatives (e.g. footprint development / access, efficient issuance of enabling documents).

The following departmental priorities will form an integral part of the DHA strategicplanning process going forward:

  • The flagship programme for the DHA for the next strategic planning cycle and beyond is the repositioning programme to give effect to the White Paper on Home Affairs. The repositioning programme will integrate with a number of existing priorities such as the modernisation programme, the Moetapele initiative, BMA, etc.
  • Accelerated rollout of the smart ID card to all eligible persons.
  • The formation of public-private partnerships (PPP) to assist with economical, effective and efficient service delivery.
  • Access and footprint development to improve the reach of DHA services, including purpose-fit DHA physical infrastructure. This will also include the improvement of infrastructure at ports of entry and refugee reception offices.
  • Support a risk-based and development approach to immigration through initiatives such as the upgrading of the Advance Passenger Processing System; introduction of the Passenger Name Record (PNR); combatting fraudulent marriages; continued implementation of a visa free regime; the introduction and rollout of technology in the immigration sphere (e.g. e-Visa, e-Gates, national targeting centre); dealing decisively with undocumented foreigners; improving the capacity of the inspectorate/ enforcement function; the introduction of one-stop- border posts and improving efficiency at refugee reception offices.
  • To obtain and maintain a clean audit outcome.
  • The digitisation of records to improve the turnaround times in dealing withrequests from citizens and foreigners.


2.3Contribution to the National Development Plan

A major focus of the NDP is to confront the interlinked challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment by achieving higher growth rates.The DHA has a critical contribution to make to the achievement of the NDP 2030 objectives:

  • The inclusion of all citizens in democracy and development is enabled by providing them with a status and an identity that gives them access to rights and services.  This must be done in an efficient, effective, professional and secure manner.
  • A further priority for the DHA is to facilitate the acquisition of the critical skills needed for economic growth as determined by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to build its own skills base. 
  • The DHA must continue to drive integrated and coordinated border management to ensure the borders are effectively protected, secured and well-managed.
  • The DHA could play a key role in enabling regional development by working with SADC countries through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to establish efficient, secure and managed migration.
  • The DHA is central in building a capable state. The modernisation programme of the DHA can reduce fraud and the cost of doing business by enabling e-government which will attract more investment into the country.


  1. Annual Performance Plans 2021/22 per Programme

3.1 Programme 1: Administration


The Administration programme covers all functions of the DHA that support its core business, such as policy, governance, finance, human resources (HR) management and security. It is also responsible for the provision of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, accommodation, transport and the keeping of records

  • The Department had already commenced with the piloting of the e-Visa regime in Kenya. As a result, the e-Visa system outcome appears for the second year running in the APP. 
  • The Department includes a target to roll-out the Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS) in 23 ports of entries by the end of the financial year. The BMCS is a new system that will replace the Enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS) used to track the movement of citizens and foreign travelers entering and departing South Africa at all ports of entry. The new system will interface with the e-Visa system which will confirm visa compliance, where applicable. It will further identify undesirable travelers and confirm citizens against the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS).
  • The introduction of the National Identity System (NIS) is intended to replace the outdated National Immigration Information System (NIIS). The NIS will be developed into a live capture system and integrated with other DHA systems. This system will register the demographics and biometrics of asylum seekers and facilitate the adjudication of their cases with the option of referral to other bodies if denied.
  • The Department has estimated that it would have gazetted the DHA Bill for public consultation by the end of the previous financial year. For the current financial year, the Department’s annual target is to submit the DHA Bill to Cabinet for approval.
  • The Department also planned to submit the Official Identity Management Policy to Cabinet for approval and to submit the Green Paper on management of Citizenship, International Migration and Refugee Protection to Cabinet for approval and public consultation. 
  • The DHA is in the quest of improving its image by positively positioning itself to its stakeholders. Consequently, the Department communication unit plans to have 20 media engagements, 6 outreach engagements and 3 media campaigns. The DHA also intends to revise its Service Delivery Model and have it approved by the Minister by the end of the financial year.
  • The Department has introduced a new output indicator which is to conduct 13 awareness sessions on gender-based violence and Femicide, gender and disability mainstreaming as mandated by the Presidency that all government departments must comply with the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide: 2020-2030.


3.2 Programme 2: Citizen Affairs

This programme aims to provide secure, efficient and accessible services and documentation for the citizens and lawful residents. Citizen Affairs covers the activities of the Civic Affairs Branch at the national and provincial level. This involves providing and managing identity and status services for citizens, permanent residents, and persons accorded refugee status.

  • Taking Covid-19 restrictions into consideration when planning for 2021/22, the Department has reduced its annual target of registering birth within 30 days to 700 000 for 2021/22 if it operates at 100% staff capacity.
  • Programme 2 had planned to issue 3 million smart identity documents in the 2020/21 APP but revised the target to 700 000 in response to Covid-19 when it revised its APP.
  • Programme 2 had also planned 90% of machine-readable adult passports to be issued within 13 working days in the previous financial year, but this annual target was revised down to 70% due to Covid-19.
  • For the current financial year, the DHA has kept the annual target at 90% of machine-readable adult passports to be issued within 13 working days should it operate at 100% capacity. The targets are reduced according to Covid-19 alert levels and available staff capacity. 
  • The new performance indicator for Programme 2 is the submission of the marriage policy to Cabinet for approval by the end of the 2021/21 financial year. The new Marriage Act will enable South Africans of different sexual orientation, religious and cultural persuasions to conclude legal marriages that will accord with the doctrine of equality, non-discrimination and human dignity as encapsulated in the Constitution of RSA.


3.3 Programme 3: Immigration Affairs

This programme aims to facilitate and regulate the secure movement of people through the ports of entry into and out of the Republic of South Africa. The programme is also responsible for determining the status of asylum and regulate refugee affairs.

  • For 2021/22, the Department set itself an annual target of 220 law enforcement operations/inspections. This indicator aims to ensure that undocumented persons are documented and are not unlawfully employed in South Africa as they do not comply with the law.
  • The Department also targeted 85% and 90% of critical skills and business visas adjudicated within 4 weeks of application. These visas should have been applied within the country, and the application process is facilitated through the Visa Facilitation Service Centres (VFS).


3.4 Programme 4: Institutional Support and Transfers

The Institutional Support and Transfers appears for the first time as a stand-alone programme. Funding of the BMA was budgeted for in programme 1 while the Electoral Commission and Represented Political Parties fund was previously planned and budgeted for in Programme 2, Institutional Support sub-programme. The purpose of this new programme is to transfer funds to the Electoral Commission and Represented Political Parties Fund, which manages national, provincial and local government elections to ensure those elections are free and fair. The programme will also transfer funds to the Border Management Authority to ensure south Africa’s borders are effectively defended, protected, secured, and well-managed.

  • The BMA Act (No 2 of 2020) has finally assented into law, and it is effective as of 1 January 2021. The annual target for the 2021/22 financial year is to incrementally roll out BMA to 11 land ports of entry by integrating frontline immigration personnel, port health, etc. In line with the BMA roll out, the Department targets to gazette the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) policy for public comments and finalise the contractual agreement with the contracted bidders to develop the six priority borders where the OSBP will commence.


3.5 Provincial Targets

Provinces have each of the following 8 targets as part of the DHA formal reporting framework:

  • Birth registration within 30 days;
  • Smart ID cards issued to citizens 16 years of age and older;
  • 100% of detected employers in contravention of the Immigration Act (Act 13 of 2002) charged;
  • 100% of detected transgressors in contravention of the Immigration Act (Act 13 of 2002) charged;
  • 100% of direct deportations concluded within 30 calendar days;
  • 100% of transfers to Lindela concluded within 20 calendar days;
  • 80% of detected fraudulent marriages & marriage of convenience cases finalised (investigation and recommendation submitted) within 60 days; and
  • 100% of valid invoices settled within 30 days of verification

The Department reported that out of the 8 annual targets, 7 were achieved (87.5%) for the 2020/21 FY.


  1. Provincial Challenges

The following Provincial Challenges were highlighted by the Department in respect of service delivery:

  • Second wave/ variant was experienced in the country with high numbers identified in four provinces (EC; KZN, GP & WC) and this resulted in them being classified as hotspots for COVID-19.
  • There were 90 x office closures during the reporting period. This led to a total of 248 lost working days, due to confirmed COVID-19 cases – Regulatory requirements.
  • Clients were reluctant to visit DHA Offices within one month of giving birth for fear of exposing their newly born babies to rising infections (COVID-19) and these resulted in births being registered from 31 days and above.
  • Front offices had to close between 2 – 3 times due to COVID-19 infections.
  • Booking system of the banks was blocked due to COVID-19 regulations and no applications were collected. As a result, there were no documents to issue.
  • Connectivity difficulties of mobile units in certain rural areas posed a challenge in terms of collection of sufficient applications to issue.
  • A total of 24,186 hours of downtime with a corresponding estimated production loss of 295,438 applications were experienced in the financial year.
  • Prevailing water outages affecting front offices resulting in them having less operating time to service clients.
  • 92 Offices were affected by Covid-19 infections, 1869 officials were affected and243 working days were affected by the closure of offices (243)


  1. Budget Allocation

Over the medium term, the DHA will focus on establishing and incrementally operationalising the BMA to secure international migration, continue with its IT modernisation programme to expand its client interface, and ensure the timeous issuing of permits and visas.

The 2020/21 financial year budget supports the long-standing policy priorities of the DHA. Some of the key highlights of Vote 5 are summarised below:

  • The DHA will incrementally implement the BMA during the MTEF. The BMA Act (No.2 of 2020) has since come into effect on 1 January 2021. Consequently, the BMA budget has been doubled from R 20 million in the previous financial year to R 40 million for the 2021/22 financial year. An amount of R 124.9 million has also been set aside over the MTEF period.
  • In line with the implementation of the BMA, the DHA plans to redevelop and modernise six priority land ports of entries in the form of the One-Stop Border Post concept. The priority borders are Beitbridge, Maseru Bridge, Kopfontein, Lebombo, Oshoek and Ficksburg. An amount of R 1.8 billion has been set aside in the Administration programme to ensure related activities are carried out to complete this project over the MTF.
  • The DHA will continue with the modernisation project of its IT systems. The department has been able to automate its business processes and products. Most significantly, this has made capturing information and images, digitising supporting documents, and issuing enabling documents more efficiently. The department will continue with the modernisation programme and has allocated R3 billion over the MTEF.
  • The DHA has continued to prioritise the timeous issuing of permits and visas. The timeous issuing of permits and visas enables economic growth and removes impediments to foreign investment.


Overall Budget 2020/21 and 2021/22 – Department of Home Affairs



Nominal Increase / Decrease in 2021/22

Real Increase / Decrease in 2021/22

Nominal Percent change in 2021/22

Real Percent change in 2021/22

R million



1. Administration

R2 358,8

R2 266,6





2. Citizen Affairs

R2 832,9

R2 552,4





3. Immigration Affairs

R1 304,4

R1 454,3





4.Institutional Support and Transfers

R 2 291,3

R 2 417,1






R 8 787,4

R8 690.4





Source: National Treasury (2021)


For the 2021/22 financial year, the Department receives an allocation of R 8.7 billion compared to the R 8.8 billion special adjusted allocations of 2020/21. The adjusted budget includes revenue generated through the issuance of civil documents. Without inflation (nominally), the Department’s budget decreases by 1.1 % from the previous year. This allocation is much lower in real terms as the Department allocation is 5.1 % lower than the previous year’s budget. This allocation translates into a decrease of R 447.3 million in real rand value. The Department’s responsibilities keep increasing considering the BMA, One-Stop-Boarder-Post and modernisation of its IT infrastructure; however, its budget has decreased in real terms for the past three financial years.


Only two of the Department’s four programmes show a real increase in the current financial year. The Immigration Affairs branch shows a real increase of R 91.3 million or 7%, while the Institutional Support and Transfers Programme shows a slight real increase of R 28.4 million or 1.2%.


Both Administration and Citizen Affairs programmes have been allocated a smaller budget compared to the last financial year. However, given that the Department’s revenue collected will be appropriated in September 2021, its respective programme budgets will likely increase.


The Administration Programme budget is reduced by R 183.6 million or 7.78% in real terms when considering inflation. Programme 2: Citizen Affairs experiences a significant budget reduction by R 383.4 million or 13.53 % in real terms.In terms of economic classification, the Vote’s main cost drivers are the compensation of employees (COE), which cost the Department R 3. 469 billion or 39.9% and goods & services at R 2,824 billion or 32.49%.


  1. Provincial Budget

Allocation Per Province


Source: Department of Home Affairs

The Citizen Affairs Programme has a specific budget allocation for service delivery to provinces which allocates R2 024 775 billion to Provinces as depicted in the table above. The highest allocations are made to the following three provinces: Gauteng reflecting an amount of R458 522, followed by Eastern Cape R269 799 and KZN R255 658.

The Department informed the Committee that the allocations to provinces are moving towards zero based budgeting. Most provinces are experiencing a slight reduction in respect of salaries and salary increases which National Treasury has removed from the budget.


  1. Recommendations

Members made the following observations and recommendations to the Department:

  1. The Department should ensure that the appropriate legal mechanisms are put in place at border posts to address illegal border crossings from neighbouring countries.Members encouraged the Department to continue its working relationship with the SANDF to ensure that the border posts are sufficiently protected.


  1. Committee members welcomed the detailed implementation plan for the BMA. Members recommended that the Department should strictly adhere to the plan in order to ensure that the BMA is implemented within the stipulated timeframes.


  1.  The Department shouldaddress fraud and corruption both within the Department and at the border posts. Consequence management should be implemented to address the challenges related to fraud and corruption.


  1. The Department should ensure that it engages extensively with all communities in respect of the Marriage Policy in order for all views to be captured in crafting the legislation.


  1. Members noted that the law enforcement operations function of the Department is of the utmost importance in curbing illegal migration and raised concerns in respect of the capacity and resource constraints.Members encouraged the Department to continue workingco-operatively with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the law enforcement operations are not compromised.


  1. Members encouraged the Department to roll out sufficient awareness raising campaigns in light of the upcoming local government elections, to ensure that all citizens receive their Identity Documents timeously so at to be able to register and vote during the 2021 elections.


  1. Members encouraged the Department to continue implementing cost saving measures to reduce the goods and services budget. These measures should include the proposed move from private leases to state owned properties.


  1. Members acknowledged the budget cuts in respect of compensation to employees, however members encouraged the Department to ensure that critical vacant posts were filled as a matter of urgency and that the current vacancies in provincial offices should not compromise service delivery.


  1. Members raised concerns in relation to the long queues at the Department of Home Affairs offices. Members noted that the Department was entering into MOUs with banks to address this matter. Members recommended that the Department should address this matter urgently to ensure that efficient service delivery was available to all citizens.


  1. Members were concerned about the connectivity challenges of mobile units in rural areas and recommended that the Department should prioritise this matter to ensure that citizens living in rural areas receive adequate access to the services provided by the Department.


  1. Members were encouraged by the Department’s partnership with UNHCR to address the backlogs that exist within the asylum application process. Members recommended that the Department continues with this initiative to ensure that asylum applications are processed expeditiously so as to improve public confidence in the Department.


  1.  Members welcomed the Department’s efforts in terms of recruiting 36 lawyers to assist in terms of their backlog when it comes to the asylum seekers, and with their on-going process of filling the 53 critical vacant positions.


  1. Conclusion

Committee members encouraged the Department to find innovative ways to ensure that the important services which it delivers is not compromised significantly by the budget cuts. The committee further indicated that it would continue with its oversight work over the Department’s capital projects within the provinces and over the implementation of the Border Management Authority.

The Select Committee on Security and Justice supports Budget Vote 5.

The DA abstained.

Report to be considered.



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