Archive from May, 2014

SA govt stops processing permits for Zimbabweans

SA govt stops processing permits for Zimbabweans

17 May 2014

 

The MDC-T SA has reacted with shock and horror to the directive by the South African Department of Home Affairs instructing its officials to stop processing any document related to the Zimbabwe Documentation Project.

The worst fears of millions of Zimbabweans living and working in the neighbouring country have been confirmed, says the party’s spokesperson Rogers Mudarikwa.

Under the documentation project Zimbabweans were issued with four-year renewable work permits.

“In meetings four years ago we sat with the then Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, now chair of the African Union, and her Director General Nkuseni. The minister promised to renew the work permits upon expiry. She dismissed our suspicions that this was an intelligence gathering exercise. Now, four years down the line, the South African government is singing a different tune,” said Mudarikwa.

“Home Affairs is no longer renewing the permits. The department is also not re-issuing new work permits for those who lost their passports containing valid work-permits. Those who got two years work permits on the basis of the ending life-span of their passports are not being issued the remaining two years – even after acquiring new passports. We wonder if we made a mistake to trust the government of South Africa,” he fumed.

Home Affairs officials in Johannesburg told MDC-T officials today that they were completely in the dark. The department is now saying Zimbabweans must apply for the renewal of their work-permits from Harare. The officials said the decision to stop the project was a complete u-turn to what was agreed on between the Minister and members of the stakeholders forum that resulted in the documentation project.

The project was initially shunned by Zimbabweans who suspected that the South African government was trying to flush them out. But when MDC-T officials in South Africa encouraged fellow Zimbabweans to participate in the project, more than 250,000 came out and applied for the four-year permits. Those with refugee statuses were coaxed into surrendering them in exchange for work permits.

“Zimbabweans feel deceived by the South African government. The ANC government is now running away from their signatures. It is ironic that such a revolutionary party whose leadership was kept comfortably in Zimbabwe during their liberation struggle could treat us like that. We have a strong suspicion that the current Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, has little understanding of challenges faced by Africans. We urge the ANC government to be sensitive, compassionate and considerate. Such a decision by the government has the potential to fan xenophobic attacks,” says a statement from the MDC-T.

The party has urged all Zimbabweans to email or call senior officials in the Home Affairs department urging them to reconsider this decision: Mkuseli Apleni: Director General, 082 449 7535, (012)406 2501 email: Mkuseli.apleni@dha.gov.za OR Jackie Mckay,

 

Bulawayo24.com – by Staff reporter

May 18, 2014 - General, Work Permit    No Comments

Tough new requirements for work permits in South Africa

Tough new requirements for work permits in South Africa

 

08 May 2014

 

The Department of Home Affairs has recently introduced a new set of immigration regulations/rules and expects to implement this soon possibly once new Minister of Home Affairs is appointed  Home Affairs has under new regulations a new set of requirements against an application for a “General Work Permit” which will be assessed by the Department of Labour. The Department of Labour is committed to completing this process within in a 30 day period, following a receipt of a complete application. The Department of Labour will conduct an on-site inspection at the designated work place to check that employers are complying with all labour laws.

The Labour Requirements for work permits as follows;

• Application form: Duly completed and signed DHA application form

• Labour Migrant’s ID photo: The applicant’s portrait ID photo is affixed to the work permit application form (DHA)- if migrant worker is already identified;

• Job descriptions of the vacancies being applied for.

• ‘SAQA Certification of Evaluation': If the prospective migrant worker has academic qualification certificates acquired abroad, a ‘SAQA Certification of Evaluation’ duly signed by a competent SAQA authority and indicating the South African equivalent(s) must be attached;

• ‘Powers of attorney': letter is attached if the employer is represented.

• Contract of Employment: A duly completed and signed contract of employment document should be attached to the application package

• Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) submitted-for designated employer. Or a Report of all Training Planned or Programmes already conducted

• Employment Equity Plan (EEP) submitted- for designated employer. Outline the workforce of Business , specifying citizens/residents vs foreign nationals

• Copy of a job advert (National Newspaper) refers to Immigration Regs. 16(5) (d) of 2005 for specifications ; Any other methods of advertising/recruitment

• NGO’s/CBO’s Report: Written evidence of labour search from Traditional Leaders/Community Leaders/Ward Councilors/Community based organization and NGOs

• Private Recruitment Agency Report: Written evidence of labour search from, at least, one relevant private recruitment agency.

• Sectoral Organizations/Professional Bodies Report: Written evidence of labour search from sectoral organizations/Professional Bodies.

• Interview notes: Selection interview notes by the employer indicating the rationale for recruited local citizens not being suitable for the vacant post or reasons for the locals not being considered at all. Result of all recruitment initiatives

 

Bulawayo24.com – by Staff reporter

 

No travel in and out of South Africa on proof of application of extension of South African Temporary Residence Permits whilst applications for extension pending

No travel in and out of South Africa on proof of application of extension of South African Temporary Residence Permits whilst applications for extension pending
26. Feb. 2014 SA Migration / Home Affairs

Dear All, Received below/attached from Immigration regarding withdrawal of Directive No 43 of 2010. Under Immigration Directive No 43 of 2010 allowance was made for travelers to travel in and out of South Africa on the proof of application of the extension of South African Temporary Residence Permits whilst their applications for extension were pending. With the withdrawal of this Immigration Directive No 43 of 2010 this allowance has now been stopped with immediate effect. The implication is that all foreigners staying in South Africa who has expired permits, even though they might have an application for extension in their possession, will be in contravention of the Immigration Act

and liable for an administrative fine for overstaying their permit conditions. Likewise, a foreigner abroad, in possession of such an extension application will not be allowed into South Africa by Immigration unless in possession of a valid permit or visa which has not expired. Airlines should be vigilant at check in counter abroad in order to see if their is travelers with these documents and refer them to the South African Embassies abroad, and also await the outcome these application abroad. Airlines conveying these travelers to South Africa not adhering the entry requirements as now stated will be liable for an administrative fine.

ZIMBAS SA PERMIT FEARS ALLAYED

ZIMBAS SA PERMIT FEARS ALLAYED
THE South African government has urged Zimbabweans who acquired permits through a 2009 special dispensation to renew the documents as they are about to expire.

Pretoria had indicated that it was tightening the permit system after Cabinet approved new measures, a signal that unsettled many Zimbabweans living in South Africa. But in an interview at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela said there was no reason to panic.

“The Zimbabwe Documentation Project was an experiment meant to save government money and also explore if business and the economy would improve in the process,” he said.
“So far, it has proven to be very successful and government is happy with the first phase of the programme.
“I can assure you that the programme will not only see permits being renewed, but will also be extended beyond those who got the first permits.”

Mavimbela said for one to be able to renew a permit, they should have a clean record and be able to provide proof of employment, study or business. “The plan is to give an extra year to those who already had permits, while new applicants will be thoroughly screened this time and required to satisfy some requirements that are still being set by government,” he said.

Mavimbela said some of the requirements were that people should prove that they were employed under the category of “critical skills” or have their employers come forward to vouch for them.He said new work and business permits would be valid for four years, in line with new government policy on migration, while study permits would be valid for the duration of the course.

Mavimbela said permit holders would be granted South African citizenship after five years. He said the special dispensation had created business opportunities for South Africans that Pretoria did not want to disrupt.

“Most South African business sectors, like insurance and banking, have, since the launch of the programme, designed programmes specifically targeting Zimbabweans and would not like to lose them,” he said.
“Talks are going on between the two governments on how to roll out the second phase in a manner that will benefit both countries.”

The Zimbabwe Documentation Project was launched in 2010 to give Zimbabwe nationals the opportunity to regularise their stay in South Africa by applying for work or study permits. The project offered an alternative to Zimbabweans trying to legalise their continued stay in South Africa, other than turning to the country’s chaotic and oversubscribed asylum system.

During the permit application period, a moratorium on deportations of undocumented Zimbabweans was in place. This moratorium was lifted when the deadline for applications ended. Only an estimated 230 000 Zimbabweans applied for permits, which is said to be a fraction of locals living in that country. Some estimate Zimbabweans living in South Africa, most of them illegally, at three million. newsday
NewsdzeZimbabwe at Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Muslims can wed legally in South Africa

Muslims can wed legally in South Africa
April 30 2014 at 09:18am – Cape Times
By Barbara Maregele and Aziz Hartley
Cape Town – Muslim marriages will be recognised as legal from Wednesday for the first time in South African history – a move described as more than 300 years in the making.
More than 100 Muslim clerics, or imams, will on Wednesday graduate as marriage officers in a pilot project by the Department of Home Affairs which will allow them to officiate over unions that will be recognised by law.
Since Muslims were first brought to South Africa as slaves more than three centuries ago their marriages had no legal standing before Wednesday’s graduation.
Children born from these marriages were regarded as illegitimate, while women were not regarded as spouses when attempting to claim against their deceased husbands’ estates.
The imams graduating on Wednesday completed a three-day course during which they learned about the Marriage Act of 1961 and wrote an exam.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, her deputy Fatima Chohan and Muslim leaders are to attend the graduation in Pinelands on Wednesday.
All first-time Muslim marriages will now be recorded on the National Population Register, said Home Affairs spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele.
Attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, Hoodah Abrahams, said having Muslim clerics as official marriage officers had important legal implications for Muslim couples and their children.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction for the long struggle to have Muslim marriages legalised. We have been strong advocates to have it recognised,” she said.
Abrahams said Muslim women had for many years suffered as a result of their marriages not being recognised under the South African Marriage Act.
“In most scenarios, we find that when men are the breadwinners and when there are complications in the marriage, women are not favoured legally.
We currently have a number of workshops to raise awareness for people who get married and are not aware that their marriages are not legally registered,” she said.
The centre had fought the case of Hanover Park grandmother, the now late Suleiga Daniels, who in 1994 lost her house because she was not recognised as the surviving spouse after her husband, Moegamat Daniels, died.
The couple had moved into their home when they were married in 1977 and shared it for 17 years until his death. Because they had been married according to Muslim rites, Daniels was informed by the Master of the High Court on her husband’s death that she could not benefit from his estate. Daniels’ case was won in 2011.
Daniels’ daughter Yasmina Mohamed told the Cape Times on Tuesday: “Our mother died in March last year. I’m very pleased to hear that Muslim marriages will be recognised at last. Muslim women will now be better protected. My mother had a very long battle to get what rightfully belonged to her and had vowed not to give up.”
In another landmark case, Fatima Gabie Hassam’s marriage was recognised only after a lengthy legal battle. She was the first of her husband’s two wives. He died without leaving a will and she could not inherit, but in 2004, and with the help of city attorney Igshaan Higgins, she went to court and won.
The Western Cape High Court ruling in her favour was referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation.
Confirming the ruling, Constitutional Court Justice Bess Nkabinde said Hassam’s right to equality had been violated and that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of religion and marital status.
Higgins, who was on pilgrimage in Mecca on Tuesday, said: “Muslims in South Africa have suffered the indignity of non-recognition for more than (three centuries) and it is certainly a step in the right direction for the imams to be recognised as marriage officers.
“However, any celebration should be suspended until Muslim Personal Law becomes a reality for all those Muslim wives, mothers, daughters and sisters who suffer proprietary hardships on a daily basis as a result of non recognition.”
Muslim Judicial Council SA (MJC) deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar said the marriage officer’s course was “groundbreaking” for Muslim marriages after decades of attempts to have them recognised.
“We’ve been involved in the programme since we first raised the question about Muslim marriages with Home Affairs. We contacted different imams, those who belonged to the MJC and those who didn’t, to join the course. This is a groundbreaking step for us. For the first time in our history our marriages will be recognised and our children won’t be seen as illegitimate in terms of the law,” he said.
Fataar said the marriages performed by the graduates would still be in line with the requirements of sharia (Muslim law).
barbara.maregele@inl.co.za
aziz.hartley@inl.co.za
Cape Times

Implementation of New Permanent Residence certificates and the discontinuation of Permanent Residence stickers

Implementation of New Permanent Residence certificates and the discontinuation of Permanent Residence stickers

The Department of Home Affairs has yet again decided to make the lives of foreigners even harder.
Permanent residence stickers will no longer be available for endorsement in foreign passports as Home Affairs has taken steps to enhance the security of permanent residence certificates. Feedback we have is that a large number of permanent residence stickers has gone missing and have been sold fraudulently resulting in a major security risk .
They claim that the new PR certificates will bring more credibility and integrity to the permitting regime as the security features are unique.
Permits will now be issued electronically. Previous endorsed stickers will no longer be used for travel purposes and permanent resident holders will make use of their actual PR certificates to travel. The risk of losing the A4 sized DHA 802 permit is now even more possible than before and obtaining these permits if lost aren’t easy.