Archive from August, 2016
Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

SA govt could offer visa waiver for international graduates

SA govt could offer visa waiver for international graduates
29 August 2016 – EWN
CAPE TOWN – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has encouraged foreign students in South Africa to consider working in the country to boost the country’s skills development.
Gigaba addressed the International Students Conference hosted by University of Cape Town in Newlands yesterday.
He told the gathering more than 20,000 African health professionals who studied on the continent are either working in Europe or in North America.
Gigaba says the government wants to change this and his department will issue a visa waiver for international graduates with critical skills.
He says those who wish to work in the country will qualify for a long-term work visa.
Gigaba says the South African government is trying to retain African graduates on the continent.
The minister’s also encouraged young South Africans to consider studying at universities in other parts of the continent.

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Enjoy being a tourist in your own backyard

Enjoy being a tourist in your own backyard
Sunday Independent – 28 August 2016
Johannesburg – The growth of domestic tourism in South Africa depends on the accessibility and affordability of the country’s tourist attractions.
This was the message delivered by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom at the launch of Tourism Month at Gariep Dam in the Free State this week.
Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom addresses the Tourism Month launch at Forever Resorts at the Gariep Dam. Under the #TourismForAll theme, everyone is encouraged to travel locally. Picture: Paballo Thekiso. Credit: INLSA
Hanekom said improvements had to be made in communicating the joy and value that travel brings to locals.
He highlighted that tourism was booming with international arrivals up 15.4 percent in the first six months of this year when compared with last year.
SA Tourism launched its campaign with the theme #TourismForAll to coincide with the World Tourism Day.
The tourism body said the main focus for this year was accessibility to those with disabilities, as well as the issue of affordability.
The primary aim is to change people’s perception of being a tourist in their own country and show that it can be affordable.
It encouraged people to travel throughout the year instead of just in December, and also showed people alternative ways of holidaying, such as caravanning instead of staying at hotels.
Tourism Month celebrations alternate among the six less-popular provinces.
This year’s province of choice is the Free State.
The Sunday Independent tagged along on the Sho’t Left adventure for a week, visiting Deneysville, Parys and Xhariep, as well as Bloemfontein.
The adventure tour started in Deneysville with the crocs and lions at the Deneys Croc Ranch.
An interesting stop on the way to Parys was the Vredefort Dome, the largest as well as one of the oldest known meteor impact sites in the world. It is South Africa’s seventh World Heritage Site and a place of outstanding cultural and historical importance.
From there the journey took us quad-biking and abseiling at sunset, ending with a beer tasting at the Dog and Fig Brewery in Parys.
The next day was filled with river-rafting on the Vaal River followed by a long drive to Xhariep to enjoy the scenery at the Gariep Dam.
Tourism SA is running a competition where entrants stand a chance to win one of three dream getaways worth R10 000 each.

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Renew your SA passport through your bank: a how-to guide

Renew your SA passport through your bank: a how-to guide
August 26, 2016 – The South African
SA passports can now be renewed online and collected at your local bank. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
There are some conditions, of course, but if you live in Pretoria or Johannesburg and have access to internet banking, you qualify. If you don’t live in either of these places, you can use the eHome Affairs services, but you need to go into Home Affairs to record your biometric data and to collect your passport or ID.
What you need
• A copy of your ID
• R400 for the passport
• Access to internet banking
Step-by-step
Step 1: Account registration
• Register on the eHome Affairs website
• Create a profile
• Answer the simple security questions
• Create a password
• Capture the one time pin sent to your cellphone
• Attach a copy of your ID
Step 2: Make a payment
• Enter your account details on the site
• Log in to your internet banking to authorize the payment – go to ‘My Bills’ under ‘Payments’ to initiate a payment instruction. Add the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary and a payment instruction will now appear under ‘My Bills’.
• Enter your reference number and approve the payment of R400 to the Department of Home Affairs.
Step 3: Make an appointment
• Once the Department of Home Affairs has registered that you have paid, you will be able to make an appointment to record your biometric data.
• If you live in Johannesburg or Pretoria, you will be able to select a bank branch with the required facilities. If not, you will have to go to your local Home Affairs – this does not require an appointment.
• If you are able to make an appointment at one of the bank branches you will be given a choice of time slots. Select a time slot, after which will receive appointment confirmation via email and an SMS which you will need to take with you to the bank.
Step 4: Attend your appointment
• At the bank, you will have your photograph and thumb print taken.
Step 5: Wait for an SMS or email
• When your passport is ready for collection, you will receive notification. This should take roughly ten days.
Home Affairs has some handy information here in case you get stuck. Cape Town and Durban banks are next to offer this service

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

eHome Affairs opens online service to all South Africans

eHome Affairs opens online service to all South Africans
2016-08-26 09:30 – New24
Cape Town – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has confirmed that the eHomeAffairs portal service has now been extended to accommodate citizens, 16 years and above, who want to apply online for the new Smart ID Card and Passports.
With eHomeAffairs, you can download and fill the e-application form, make an electronic payment and book an appointment to complete the application process at your nearest participating bank, assured of peace of mind and personalised service.
The system was launched four months ago to citizens between 30 and 35 years old and as of Wednesday 24 August 2016, a total of 35 751 applications have been submitted through the system, of which 50% has been finalised to date, Gigaba says.
“Online applications are making a huge difference in the time spent in queues. In April, in the first month following the launch, we were at four thousand and eighty eight (4 088) online applications.
The system is now open to all citizens who bank with the four participating banks: ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank. Currently 12 branches of these banks are connected to the system in Gauteng, with 1 branch in Cape Town (Canal Walk Standard Bank), Gigaba confirmed.
The department says plans are in place with the participating banks to increase its footprint by October 2016 at the very earliest. Added to this, its Steering Committee has been monitoring the implementation and performance of the system has has since been able to identify gaps in the system and speedily recommend upgrades to the Live Capture System.
System maintenance and enhancements from Saturday, 03 September 2016
Accordingly, the department will undertake system maintenance and enhancements from Saturday, 03 September 2016 in 178 offices that issue Smart ID Cards and the 12 banks. There will be limited DHA services in this period. Offices will not offer Smart ID Card and passport services on that day.
Otherwise, those who experience problems in the application process should call the Home Affairs Toll Free number – 0800 60 11 90.
Benefits of the system upgrade are the following:
– Citizens will be able to make changes to their already submitted application forms on eHomeAffairs at any point, until the application process is concluded at their banks.
– Offline performance enhancements will enable capturing of applications even when the Live Capture System is offline, to ensure clients are not turned away, or inconvenienced.
– Communications will be improved with regard to payments on eHomeAffairs, by sending a notice if payment has not been completed.
Long-term, the Department of Home Affairs aims to replace about 34 million green-barcoded ID books with the Smart ID Card.
“We are at 5.2 million cards issued. That is why we urge all citizens, except for first time applicants of IDs, to use eHomeAffairs conveniently to apply for Smart ID Cards, and passports.

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Frail US dad in fight to stay in SA with family

Frail US dad in fight to stay in SA with family
26 August 2016 –
Cape Town – A family is living in fear of being torn apart after Home Affairs denied a frail father the right to stay in South Africa with his wife and children.
Mike Rubesch, 59, is living in the shadow of a mistake he made in another country, 30 years ago.
He was caught drunken driving in his home country of the US when he was 29. He paid an admission of guilt fine, and had never committed another offence in his life.
Now, decades later and a continent apart, he is married to a South African woman and has three children here. They live in Hermanus.
Mike has progressive dementia, and is severely medically challenged. His family rely on his disability grant from the US government.
Home Affairs has denied him permission to live in South Africa with his family, on the basis he once committed a crime.
Mike and his wife, Jean, have sought the help of immigration attorney Craig Smith, who is planning to file court papers against the Home Affairs director-general.
Smith said according to the Immigration Act, driving under the influence was not a serious enough offence to disqualify Rubesch from living in South Africa.
He said Rubesch’s case was one of a number he and his colleagues were dealing with that seemed to feature “arbitrary refusals” of residence from Home Affairs.
Spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs, Mayihlome Tshwete, said he had been in contact with the Rubesches, and the department would do what it could to resolve their situation.
“I’ve spoken to the client and there are a number of irregularities in the way the lawyer handled it,” Tshwete said. “I’ve advised the client to send me all the info and we will try and resolve the matter.”
Jean is determined to fight the refusal: “It’s got to stop, and not just for us – for everyone who’s been victimised by the system.
“They have no idea the trauma they’ve caused. At one point, I had to write a letter inviting my own husband to stay with me.”

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Home Affairs rolling out big upgrade for smart ID and passport system

Home Affairs rolling out big upgrade for smart ID and passport system
25 August 2016 – Broadband News

The Department of Home Affairs is shutting down ID and passport services this weekend to upgrade its systems.
Department of Home Affairs branches around the country will not offer ID or passport services on 27 and 28 August 2016.
This is according to notices placed in Home Affairs offices informing visitors of a scheduled systems upgrade due to take place over the weekend.
A senior Home Affairs staff member who is not authorised to speak to the media told MyBroadband they are expecting a “very big” upgrade.
The staff member couldn’t reveal details about the upgrade, but said it was aimed at Home Affairs’ new paperless systems.
These upgrades aim to address challenges and add features that have been identified.
The Department of Home Affairs was asked to comment on its planned upgrades, but did not respond.
Plans to expand Smart ID programme
Home Affairs plans to expand its Smart Card applications at bank branches by the end of October, following the success of the pilot project, Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.
Since the partnership began in April, a total of 35,751 applications were submitted through the system known as “eHome Affairs” by Tuesday.
Negotiations are underway with the “big four” banks – Absa, Standard Bank, First National Bank and Nedbank – to expand the programme.
Currently the service is offered at 12 outlets in Gauteng and one in Canal Walk, Cape Town.
Gigaba said the project cut down on queues at Home Affairs offices, flushed out people with forged IDs, and allowed banks to reduce document fraud with their link to the Home Affairs database.
The eHome Affairs project also offers passport applications at the participating banks. The only service it cannot offer at present is first-time identity document applications. These still have to be done at a Home Affairs office.
Currently banks do not charge for the service, but could do so in future.
The eHome Affairs project will also deal with the backlog of converting the green identity document books to the Smart Card ID. Current projections are that the optimistic target of having everyone done by 2018 will be overshot by at least 17 years.
“It became clear that that timeline was completely misguided, even with the best intentions,” Gigaba said.
“That is why we are so eager to conclude the public-private partnerships with participating banks to make the service available to everybody.”
Over five million people have their Smart Card already, but 34 million still need to convert.
The cost to the department has been minimal because of the use of the banks’ facilities. Without extra budget, it would not have been able to complete the conversions by itself.

Aug 29, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Smart Card bank applications to be expanded

Smart Card bank applications to be expanded
2016-08-25 – News24
Cape Town – Home Affairs plans to expand its Smart Card applications at bank branches by the end of October, following the success of the pilot project, Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.
Since the partnership began in April, a total of 35 751 applications were submitted through the system known as “eHome Affairs” by Tuesday.
Negotiations are underway with the “big four” banks – Absa, Standard Bank, First National Bank and Nedbank – to expand the programme.
Currently the service is offered at 12 outlets in Gauteng and one in Canal Walk, Cape Town.
Gigaba said the project cut down on queues at Home Affairs offices, flushed out people with forged IDs, and allowed banks to reduce document fraud with their link to the Home Affairs database.
The eHome Affairs project also offers passport applications at the participating banks. The only service it cannot offer at present is first-time identity document applications. These still have to be done at a Home Affairs office.
Currently banks do not charge for the service, but could do so in future.
The eHome Affairs project will also deal with the backlog of converting the green identity document books to the Smart Card ID. Current projections are that the optimistic target of having everyone done by 2018 will be overshot by at least 17 years.
“It became clear that that timeline was completely misguided, even with the best intentions,” Gigaba said.
“That is why we are so eager to conclude the public-private partnerships with participating banks to make the service available to everybody.”
Over five million people have their Smart Card already, but 34 million still need to convert.
The cost to the department has been minimal because of the use of the banks’ facilities. Without extra budget, it would not have been able to complete the conversions by itself.
Meanwhile, due to system maintenance and enhancements, Home Affairs will not offer Smart Card or passport services on Saturday, 3 September.

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