Archive from March, 2017
Mar 29, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Minister Gigaba: Migrants entitled to protection

Minister Gigaba: Migrants entitled to protection
20 Mar 2017 – Bizcommunity

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says individuals visiting, transiting and residing in the territory of a country are entitled to the protection of the host country.

“By virtue of their presence in a territory, they may also make various claims on the host State, and thus destination countries are entitled to know who a prospective visitor is, and what their needs, circumstances and intentions are before they enter a country’s territory,” he said.
Potential future citizen

Speaking on Friday at the International Migration Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre, Minister Gigaba said when governments manage migration, they do so in the awareness that they are not merely considering entry of a temporary resident, but also a potential future citizen.

“People also become citizens of other countries through naturalization. International migration is not just about the affluent strata of the economy, it is a development issue.

“The desire to control immigration was a strong motivator in the decision of British voters to leave the European Union, 56 years after first applying to join its predecessor, the European Economic Commission, in 1961.

“Anti-immigrant sentiment has, and is, continuing to play a significant and troubling role in the politics of countries, which have hitherto been seen as exemplars of openness and regional integration,” he said.
New policy framework needed

Minister Gigaba told delegates at the conference that there is an urgent need to develop a new and enduring policy framework and programme for the management of international migration in order to harness its positive benefits, while minimising the risks.

“The new framework must meet both the current and our future challenges,” he said.

The Minister has identified the development of a new international migration policy as one of his top priorities during his term of office. This policy review seeks to lay a solid policy foundation for South Africa to manage international migration securely and effectively, in line with the National Development Plan.

In the 2014/15 financial year, the Department of Home Affairs submitted the Discussion Paper on International Migration to the Minister for approval. The Discussion Paper served as a basis for drafting the Green Paper, which was submitted in the 2015/16 financial year and approved by the Minister on 29 March 2016. The Green Paper has been used as a basis for drafting the White Paper on International Migration, to be submitted to Cabinet for approval by 31 March 2017.
Right to entry reserved

Home Affairs Deputy Director General: Immigration Services, Jackie McKay, said as sovereign State, South Africa has defined borders that are recognised by approximately 200 states.

“SA reserves the right to determine who is allowed entry into the country and under what conditions.

“The new Whiter Paper on International Migration affirms SA’s sovereign right to determine the admission and residence conditions for foreign nationals, in line with its national interest,” he said.

According to McKay, SA urgently needs a robust, progressive vision of the benefits of well-managed international migration.

“This vision must be based on the crucial contribution inward and outward migration and will make to growing our economy and to the transformation of Africa,” he said.

Namibian delegate at the conference, Justino Okkae, told SAnews that the conference is important to address the many problems faced by Africans when migrating to other countries.

“We need to sit down and agree on the way forward to protect our people from the frustrations they are experiencing daily,” he said.

According to the World Bank, there are 250 million international migrants in the world, 3% of the world’s population.

The National International Migration Conference is, among others, attended by Ministers of Home Affairs from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, ambassadors as well as international experts and practitioners invited to share international experience on the management of international migration.

Mar 29, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Kamohelo Mokotjo will get to play for Bafana after Home Affairs fast-tracks citizenship application on minister’s orders

Kamohelo Mokotjo will get to play for Bafana after Home Affairs fast-tracks citizenship application on minister’s orders
Times Live 2017-03-24

Kamohelo Mokotjo will be eligible to turn out for Bafana Bafana against Guinea-Bissau at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
This is after Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba exercised his powers to allow the midfielder to resume his former South African citizenship.
Mokotjo faced not being allowed to turn out for the national team following complications surrounding him being granted Dutch citizenship late last year‚ and the midfielder not having applied for retention of his South Africans citizenship.
Home Affairs had earlier on Friday confirmed receipt of an application from the Netherlands-based player and indicated to Times Media Digital that they were more than capable of fast-tracking it in the interests of the country to enable Mokotjo to be available for Saturday’s international friendly.
Then‚ late on Friday afternoon‚ a statement from Gigaba’s office confirmed that the application had been accepted on the minister’s instructions.
“The Minister approved the application after carefully applying his mind to a motivation submitted before him by the applicant stating the reasons for the request‚” the statement said. FC Twente star Mokotjo (26) has five caps for Bafana.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport

Mar 29, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Identity mix-up blocks little girl’s school dreams

Identity mix-up blocks little girl’s school dreams
24 March, 2017 – Times Live
When they return in the afternoon she listens as they loudly recite the day’s lessons.
Bongi cannot understand why she can’t join her friends at the nearby primary school.
“I want to go to school but the people there do not want me because my mother went to Heaven,” she said, tears welling up.
Shortly before Bongi’s birth, her mother discovered that her identity had been confused with that of her cousin of the same name. The error was revealed when she applied for an identity document. Bongi’s mother died three years ago, before the issue was resolved.
The lack of an identity document prevented her from applying for a birth certificate for her daughter.
The school has not accepted Bongi , despite the family saying the Department of Home Affairs was investigating the error.
Bongi’s uncle, who cannot be named, said the department was still interviewing family members and the process would take more than two years.
The family does not want to identify the child in case it prejudices the investigation.
“They gave her a letter confirming that they were investigating her case so she could be accepted at school but the principal will not budge, so she stays at home,” he said.
Children adrift
A stateless child is a child who is not recognised by any country as a citizen because his or her parents’ country of origin does not recognise them as citizens, and neither does the country in which he or she lives.
An undocumented child is one who has a state but has not obtained documentation.
Lawyers for Human Rights’s Liesl Müller said the organisation had dealt with cases of children being without documents and added that half of them had one South African parent.
“South African children are denied a birth certificate usually because fathers attempt to register their children but Home Affairs requires the mother of the child to be present, and when that fails they ask for blood tests to prove the paternity, but it’s too expensive and most of these people are poor,” said Müller.

Mar 28, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Farmer sows seeds of knowledge for kids

Farmer sows seeds of knowledge for kids
24 March, 2017 – Times Live
A Free State farmer has come to the rescue of 110 children who cannot attend school because they do not have identity documents.
The farmer, Marieta Groenewald, founded the Lethotheng Community Centre in Clocolan, where the undocumented children are being educated.
Groenewald said she felt compelled to help.
Most of the children’s parents are South African or Lesotho nationals but many have been left in the care of grandmothers who have meagre means.
Phuleng Kopa, a South African, said her 10-year-old grandson Godfrey could not go to mainstream schools because the schools required he have a birth certificate.
His mother, who is from Lesotho, is thought to have abandoned Godfrey.
“Home Affairs said my son has to have a blood test to prove he is the father of the child and then they will give the child a birth certificate,” said Kopa.
Another grandmother, Gladys Ramodibedi, said her daughter, a Lesotho citizen, gave birth in the Free State but did not register her child at Home Affairs.
“I tried to put the child into a public school and explained what happened but I was told to get documents because they can’t accept the child without them. I can’t take the child to Lesotho because she doesn’t have any documents,” said Ramodibedi.
Liesel Müller, of the Statelessness Unit of Lawyers for Human Rights, said there were numerous cases of undocumented children unable to enter formal schooling.
“It is unconstitutional. The schools policy says no child may be refused admission and the constitution enshrines the right of every child to basic education.”
Despite this, children were being prevented from going to school.
“The Department of Home Affairs should assist children to get documentation with the help of the Department of Social Development. No abandoned child should be without a birth certificate,” Müller said.
Groenewald said the school teaches English, maths and life skills.
She said the volunteer-run centre had compiled a curriculum but, although pupils were tested, performance reports could not be issued. This meant the children would have to start from scratch if they entered the formal schooling system.
“The grandmothers are devastated because they want a future for their grandchildren,” said Groenewald.
Home Affairs said children born in South Africa could not obtain a birth certificate unless they could prove that at least one parent was South African.
In the case of abandoned children, Home Affairs worked with the Department of Social Development to find the parents.
“The proof and documentation we ask for is to safeguard the children and avoid child trafficking,” Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said.
The Department of Basic Education said: “Undocumented children become a challenge and we urge parents to document them. We cannot continue allowing children to remain undocumented. In some cases they reach Grade 12 without any identification.”

Mar 28, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Zimbabwe nationals in the dark over SA permit status

Zimbabwe nationals in the dark over SA permit status
23 March 2017 – Business Day

Special permits will expire at end of 2017, forcing Zimbabweans to apply for visas as the ‘government cannot offer permanent residence to so many’
Lobby groups representing Zimbabweans holding special permits said on Wednesday they were still waiting for clarity from the Department of Home Affairs on the status of their permits.
Many officials at Home Affairs erroneously believed individuals could not hold other types of permit while on the special permit, although holders were only barred from extending or changing conditions of the same permit while in SA, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) Advocate Gabriel Shumba said in a statement.
In a joint statement from several groups, representatives of Zimbabwean special interest groups said they would intensify lobbying efforts to get clarity from the department, including on the need to return to Zimbabwe for new forms of documentation, and clarity on under which circumstances those holding permits could automatically migrate to new types of visas.
Other concerns include those who lacked certain documentation — not needed for special permits — sometimes due to leaving rapidly due to political violence.
Some 197,000 Zimbabwean nationals hold the three-year Special Dispensation Permit, which was introduced in 2009 and has undergone renewals. The Department of Home Affairs has said once the current permit expires on December 31 2017 this would not be renewed.
At a briefing in February, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said the new permit would not be renewed, and Zimbabweans would need to apply for other forms of documentation, such as work or study visas.
“We can’t offer permanent residency for such a high number of people,” said Gigaba. The government would, however, not take any decision that would “leave hundreds of thousands of people on the street without documentation”, Gigaba said.

Mar 28, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Selling SA overseas: Gordhan leads the way

Selling SA overseas: Gordhan leads the way
Mar 26 2017 – Fin24
Cape Town – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said on Sunday it will join Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s delegation on an overseas trip to sell the country as an investment destination.
Fedusa is the only trade union federation that will be participating in this international roadshow.
Treasury announced on Saturday that Gordhan, his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile and business and labour representatives will meet credit rating agencies and investors in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The delegation will spend a total of five days in London, Boston and New York.
This international roadshow is a follow-up of similar ones held last year, where Team South Africa, made up of the social partners of government, labour and business were able to convince credit rating agencies and investors that they were working together to tackle structural challenges facing the country.
“Engaging credit rating agencies and investors is important for the country to ensure rapid inclusive economic growth and the creation of decent jobs for our people. Investments are critical for any developing country,” said Fedusa general secretary Dennis George.
“It is always important for social partners to work together to give hope to our people, especially the young who find themselves without jobs, and to deliver a single, positive narrative about the country when dealing with investors and credit rating agencies”.
George said inclusive economic growth and job creation is not only about international investment, domestic investment is also critical.
“Similarly, economic growth of the nation is assured when citizens invest in the education of their children and in their own education, when a newly married couple invests in buying a new home, when an entrepreneur starts a new small business, and likewise when the developmental agenda calls for new resources and innovations,” he emphasised.
Threasury said the “non-deal international investor roadshow” follows extensive engagements by senior officials with domestic investors after the tabling of the 2017 National Budget in February.
“Treasury has a consistent and long standing strategy of engaging investors on a regular basis,” it said in a statement on Saturday.
“The purpose of this is to provide an update on the most recent developments, engage constructively with investors and share government’s thinking behind its’ latest policy proposals,” Treaury explained.

Mar 28, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Not a single new business application approved in 2016, Gigaba confirms

Not a single new business application approved in 2016, Gigaba confirms
27 March 2017 – BUSINESS DAY
Many applicants submitted fraudulent accountant letters purporting to confirm the availability of funds for business, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says
The Department of Home Affairs rejected 148 applications for business visa renewals and 48 new business visa applications, without approving a single new business application between January and December of 2016.
This emerged in a written reply from Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to parliamentary questions. The figures are sure to raise eyebrows as SA continues to grapple with high unemployment and a lacklustre industrialisation drive.
Gigaba has taken what many migration researchers consider to be an inward looking, protectionist stance on migration since he was deployed to the Department of Home Affairs in 2014.
Gigaba also has contentious views on matters including the proportion of foreign employees that are allowed to be employed by businesses in SA, stating that 60% local staff should be a minimum requirement policy for businesses operating in SA.
In a written reply to questions by DA MP Toby Chance, Gigaba said that no new applications for startups were approved within SA in the period January 2016 to December 2016.
“Twenty-five applications for existing businesses were approved and seven were approved for change of condition on an already issued business visa … 148 applications were rejected for business visa renewals, and 48 were rejected for new businesses,” said Gigaba.
Gigaba said the department approved 25 applications for already existing businesses with seven being approved for change of condition on a business visa that had already been issued.
Gigaba said most applications were rejected because of fraudulent supporting documents, with many applicants submitting fraudulent chartered accountant letters purporting to confirm the availability of funds for business.
“The rejections therefore do not translate to any loss of potential investments as, in essence, the applicants could not provide proof of the available investment amount,” he said.
The minister said the department traced the permits of all rejected applicants for deportation by the inspectorate unit. The inspectorate unit conducts inspections to confirm that anyone issued with a visa complies with the conditions of their permit, he said.