Archive from November, 2017

Firms with foreigners doing work incompatible with visas can be fined

Firms with foreigners doing work incompatible with visas can be fined
Citizen – 23.10.2017
Institute for Race Relations CEO Frans Cronje said it was always a good thing to attract highly skilled migrants, particularly those who start businesses.
The head of immigration at Immigration & Business Solutions, Sue-Allan Mehl, told The Citizen there was a serious skills shortage in South Africa in a number of fields.
Yet it seems from the Gupta e-mails that the Department of Home Affairs barely understands its own paperwork, issuing visitors visas for people coming to work here and work visas for people in one capacity who are ultimately employed in another.
Mehl agreed that if the company was raided and the paperwork – as issued by Home Affairs – was at odds with the employee’s reason for being here, this would create a problem for the company.
“The company can be fined and a representative can be jailed as the business would need to prove that they had no knowledge of the person being on the wrong visa. The first thing the human resources department should check is the validity of the foreign national’s visa.”
Mehl noted the time it generally took to issue a visa varied widely, even if the paperwork was in order.
“It depends on where the submission takes place. Some SA submissions abroad take five to 10 working days, others take six to eight weeks. Home Affairs itself takes approximately six to eight weeks to process temporary residence visa applications. We find that critical skills work visa applications usually go quicker.”
Speaking in general terms, Institute for Race Relations CEO Frans Cronje said it was always a good thing to attract highly skilled migrants, particularly those who start businesses, invest or have experience a country cannot reasonably produce itself.
“The example we always quote is that of welders who worked on some of the big power station projects, which were technical artisan type people. We could quite reasonably have trained them ourselves, but we didn’t. For instance, some of the welders who worked on Medupi (power station) were imported from Asia,” Cronje noted.
“In the community around Medupi and Kusile (the other mega Eskom power station project) as well, where you have unemployment rates which approach 50% of the local population, it’s a problem.”
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Inflow of migrants pushes population to 53 million – Stats SA

Inflow of migrants pushes population to 53 million – Stats SA
07 November 2017 – SA Gov News
Cape Town – South Africa’s population is estimated to have grown to just under 53 million by the middle of this year, with an inflow of migrants behind much of the 1.2 million population increase since the 2011 Census, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said today.
Speaking during Statistics SA’s release of the 2013 mid-year population estimates, Lehohla pointed out that without an inflow of migrants, the country would not have grown by much in recent years.
The population is expected to have grown from just under 51.8 million in 2011, to an estimated 52 981 991 next month.
The population’s natural rate of increase – the difference between births and deaths – has fallen from 1.05% per year in 2002 to an estimated 0.99% in 2013.
However, driven by a net inflow of migrants, the population grew slightly faster per year in 2013 than over a decade a year – having increased by 1.34% between 2012 and 2013, up from a 1.3% increase between 2002 and 2003.
An estimated 864 000 African migrants entered South Africa between 2001 and 2005, and this increased to an inflow of 974 000 between 2006 and 2010.
An estimated 998 000 African migrants are expected to enter the country between 2011 and 2015.
The number of Asian migrants that came to South Africa between 2001 and 2005 is estimated at 23 300, and 34 700 between 2006 and 2010.
About 40 900 Asians are expected to enter South Africa between 2011 and 2015.
In contrast, the net outflow of the white population is expected to fall to 95 200 leaving the country between 2011 and 2015 – down from an outflow of 133 800 between 2001 and 2005 and 112 000 between 2006 and 2010.
Migration between provinces also continues – with the Eastern Cape this year estimated to have had the highest net outflow of migrants (losing 264 500), closely followed by Limpopo (with an outflow 228 000).
Gauteng is estimated to have received the most migrants (just over a million), followed by the Western Cape (307 000).
International migration is driving the population increase because South Africa’s birth rate and crude death rate has declined in recent years.
The number of children that South African women have in their life time (the fertility rate) is estimated to have fallen further to 2.3 this year, from 2.4 in 2011 and 2.7 in 2002.
Rural provinces have higher fertility rates than more urban provinces – ranging between Gauteng, with a fertility rate at 1.9 (below the replacement rate of 2.1) and the Eastern Cape at 2.7.
The crude death rate has also fallen from 15 per 1 000 in 2005 to 12 per 1 000 in 2011 and is estimated to have fallen further to 11 per 1 000 in 2013.
Driving the fall in the death rate is the decline in the infant mortality rate and a drop in the mortality rate of those under five years old.
The infant mortality rate has fallen from 58 per 1 000 in 2005 to 45.1 per 1 000 in 2011 and is estimated to have fallen further to 42 per 1 000 in 2013.
The death rate for those under the age of five years old fell from 85 per 1 000 in 2005 to 62 per 1 000 in 2011 and 57 in 2013.
Falling crude death rates and infant mortality rates is driving the increased life expectancy.
Life expectancy has increased from 52 years in 2004 to 58 years in 2011 and is estimated to have increased further, to just under 60 years (or 59.4 years) in the 2013 estimates – with life expectancy of women at 61 years and men at 58 years.
Among provinces, the Western Cape has the highest life expectancy in 2013 – at 67 years, compared to Gauteng at 62 years.
The Free State is the province with the lowest life expectancy, at 51 years, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 56 years.
However, the HIV prevalence rate has crept up from 8.7% of South Africans in 2002 to 10% in 2013, or just under 5.3 million people.
The prevalence rate for those between 15 and 49 years stands at 16%.
The mid-year estimates for 2013 reveals that 51% of the population is female and 49% male.
In terms of population groups, black Africans make up 42.3 million people, having increased their share from 2011 by 0.6 percentage points to 79.8%.
Indian and Asians are estimated to now make up 1.3 million people, estimated to have grown by 0.1 percentage points to 2.6%.
Coloured people’s share of the population, estimated to be just under 4.8 million, is estimated to have also grown by 0.1 percentage points – from 8.9% to 9%.
In contrast, the share of white people, who make up 4.6 million people now, slipped 0.2 percentage points to 8.7% in 2013.
The mid-year population figures also reveal vastly different population pyramids for each population group.
While the population pyramid of white people bulges between 45 years to 69 years, that of Asians reveals a bulge at around age groups between 20 and 39 years.
The population pyramid of black Africans and that of coloured people are similar in that they reveal a large population under the age of 30, tailing off more rapidly above the age of 65 years than the Asian and white groups.
Lehohla attributed the dramatic difference between the black African and coloured population pyramid and that of whites and Asians to the significantly higher amount invested by the apartheid state in health and education in the white and Indian population than it did in coloured and black Africans. –

SA law saves the neck of Botswana man

SA law saves the neck of Botswana man
30 October 2017, African Independent
THE South African constitution, which outlaws the death sentence, has saved a Botswana citizen from possibly hanging if convicted of a murder charge in his country.
Keitekile Jampe, with the help of Lawyers for Human Rights, turned to the high court in Pretoria for an urgent order that he be released from the Lindela Repatriation Camp in Krugersdorp, where he has been detained for more than 430 days pending extradition to Botswana.
But Jampe said that if he goes back to his country of origin, he might be hanged. The Botswana police are looking for him in connection with a charge of murder.
The parties settled the matter in terms of which Home Affairs agreed not to deport him unless the Botswana government gave an assurance that he would not receive the death penalty if he returned.
Judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa also ordered that he be released from Lindela. Jampe has to report to the director-general of Home Affairs to secure his lawful stay in South Africa in terms of the immigration regulations.
Jampe said in court papers that he was born in 1979 in a village in Botswana. He has no formal education and is a shepherd.
He fled to South Africa in August last year as he feared he would be arrested for a crime, which, if he were to be convicted, was punishable by the death sentence.
He was arrested by the SAPS shortly after he crossed the border for entering the country illegally.
A magistrate in Kuruman in the Northern Cape sentenced him to 50 days’ imprisonment for being in the country illegally. This he served, but when he was released, he was nabbed again and taken to Lindela. Jampe said while he was there, his uncle told him the police in Botswana were asking about his whereabouts.
This related to the criminal investigation against him. He did not elaborate on the alleged crime.
Apart from his detention for being unlawful in South Africa, he said he feared he would be extradited to Botswana. He said he had overheard an immigration official saying “We know what you have done and we’re deporting you back to Botswana”.
Botswana prescribes the death penalty for murder and treason. South Africa, which abolished the death penalty more than 20 years ago, cannot in terms of the law and constitution send a person back to a country while knowing that the person may face death.
The Home Affairs director-general, in similar cases in the past, submitted a report to the court which set out the department’s obligations to prevent the unconstitutional extradition to states where the death penalty was still in force. It also set out how long detainees may remain in detention before facing a court.
In the past, the courts ordered that people facing a possible death sentence may not be deported until that country had given the assurance they would not be executed.
Jampe said he lived in fear every day at Lindela that he would be deported back to Botswana. “I live in fear for my life and safety.”
Jampe said had not been charged with a crime in South Africa, so he could not apply for bail. Neither had Home Affairs followed the proper process for deportation, so his only alternative was to approach the court.

Rush to land legal status in SA

Rush to land legal status in SA
06 November 2017 – Sowetan Live

Thousands of Zimbabweans have to queue for hours in a desperate race against time to retain their legal status in South Africa.
An estimated 200000 Zimbabweans working in South Africa use legal Special Dispensation Permits that expire on the last day of the year.
However, former minister of Home Affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize offered a last-minute reprieve, allowing them to apply for a new work permit – the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit – by November 30.
Statistics from the South African embassy in Harare show visa applications have doubled since 2014. The embassy processes an average of 6000 permits a month compared to 3000 a month three years ago.
Maria Chiyangwa, a mother of two working as a helper, said: “Things are bad back home in Zimbabwe. It’s hard. I don’t mind going through a struggle to extend my permit in South Africa because at least here I can get a job [to] take care of my children.”
Zimbabweans seeking permits have to apply at 10 Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) centres and have fingerprints taken. But the sheer number of people still to be seen by the end of this month has many deeply concerned.
There is only one VFS centre in Gauteng. People there say they have to wait four to five hours to be attended to after scheduled appointments.
The Midrand centre sees on average more than 1800 people a day and VFS staff leave as late as midnight.
Jiten Vyas, chief operating officer for Africa at VFS Global, said: “As of third November 2017, 161304 applicants have successfully filled their forms and 121357 applicants have successfully booked their appointments [countrywide].”
Thousands of appointments must be completed by month-end. Zimbabweans pay R1090 for an exemption permit.

Durban Tourism tackles accommodation fraud with app

Durban Tourism tackles accommodation fraud with app
6 Nov 2017 – Tourism Update
The Durban Tourism Accommodation app contains information of 732 eThekwini accommodations.
In a bid to reduce fraudulent accommodation establishments, the tourism authority launched the Durban Tourism Accommodation app which contains information of 732 eThekwini accommodations, ranging from three to five star for potential visitors.
The app, which is available on Android phones has full details of each accommodation establishment which includes the physical address, phone numbers, and an option to make a call as well as their social network links.

Mozambique visa update: requirements for non-SADC cruise passengers

Mozambique visa update: requirements for non-SADC cruise passengers
6 Nov 2017 – Tourism Update
Non-SADC cruise passengers visiting the Mozambique islands will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
Non-SADC passengers onboard the MSC Sinfonia were previously granted visas onboard when stopping in Mozambique, however the Mozambican government informed the company on October 30 that this is no longer the case and that non-SADC passengers would have to obtain a visa prior to arrival.
Non-SADC passport holders can still obtain a visa upon arrival at various specified border posts and ports in Mozambique; however MSC Sinfonia does not stop at any of these. This has resulted in non-SADC passengers being unable to disembark the ship in Mozambique if they did not obtain a visa prior to departure.
MSC Sinfonia stops at Bazaruto Island (In the Bazaruto Archipelago off the coast of Vilanculos), however there is no customs or immigration facility there, says Rui Onteiro, CEO of the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA).

The approved ports of entry for tourist visas as per Government Gazette remain the same. In Maputo, visas remain available upon arrival at Maputo International Airport and the Port of Maputo.
Ingrid N Roding, Press Officer for MSC Cruises SA says:”The Mozambique visa change was requested by the Mozambican government.” She adds:”We are sadly just the messenger in this instance.”
Onteiro said: “Unfortunately, the visas for cruise ships were not included in the Government Gazette, and personally, I am not sure how this was processed.”
“This now needs to be addressed so that specific visas for cruise ship passengers can be issued. Unfortunately these cruise ships stop where there are no borders so there is no staff in attendance and therefore, private arrangements have to be made with immigration and customs at times to be able to make this work. It needs to be legislated and I believe, negotiated with the Department of Internal Affairs so that there is procedure in place.”
Onteiro said he will be meeting with immigration officials this week to try and take the matter further.

Burundian Refugees: It’s Not Safe to Go Home

Burundian Refugees: It’s Not Safe to Go Home
November 01, 2017 – Voice of America
Political unrest and violence prompted more than 400,000 people to flee Burundi and relocate to nearby countries, primarily Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Despite appeals from Burundi and other central African countries to leave their camps and repatriate, Burundian political refugees say they wouldn’t feel safe going back home.
Refugees who spoke to VOA say they fear government persecution if they return to Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza remains in power after defying both domestic and international opposition to pursue a third term in 2015.
Voice of America reporter Edward Rwema interviews Jacqueline Nduwayezu , 47-year-old mother of six in Mahama Refugee camp, which is home to more than 54,000 Burundian refugees in easter Rwanda.
One such refugee is Jacqueline Nduwayezu, a former secondary school teacher who is now living with her six children in the Mahama refugee camp in eastern Rwanda.
“We are here because there is no security in our country,” Nduwayezu told a VOA Central Africa reporter who recently visited the camp. “It was not out of fun that we walked for miles and abandoned our homes and land. It is because the threat was real. People were being killed and are still being killed and dumped in mass graves and rivers.”
Eloge Rugemangabo, who heads the refugee community in Mahama, says he was beaten by the pro-government Imbonerakure milita because he was a member of the opposition MSD party.
“I was tortured and discriminated against at work. I slept outside for three days for fear of being killed,” he said.
He says conditions must be very different if refugees are to go back.
“We left our parents, houses, brothers and sisters, and in order for us to return we must be assured of security and protection from violence, from being killed and so on,” he said.

Burundian Refugees in selling charcoal in Mahama Refugee camp in Rwanda.
Burundi: refugees fled ‘rumors’
While visiting the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda early this year, Burundi’s Home Affairs minister Pascal Barandagiye called on Burundian refugees to come back, adding that the country was ready to welcome its citizens.
“We are convincing them to return home and come to build their nation. Many are just scared or fled rumors,” he said.
President Nkurunziza made a similar pitch during a visit to Tanzania in July.
“Today I want to tell Tanzanians and Burundians that Burundi is now peaceful and I am inviting all Burundi refugees to return home,” he said.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli echoed Nkurunziza’s remarks saying, “I have been assured, the place is now calm.”
But Amnesty International disagrees. The rights group released a report in September which said refugees who return home would be at risk of death, rape and torture from the security forces and the Imbonerakure, who it said continue to commit human rights violations against perceived opponents of the ruling CNDD-FDD coalition.
One man told Amnesty, “If you are not CNDD-FDD, you are considered their enemy.”
“Let’s be clear, Burundi has not yet returned to normality and the government’s attempts to deny the horrific abuses still taking place within the country should not be given credence,” Amnesty’s Burundi researcher, Rachel Nicholson, said in the report.
Paul Kenya, head of UNHCR office in Kerehe, which overseas Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda.
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) warns that political and human rights conditions in Burundi continue to prompt increasing numbers of refugees to flee to neighboring countries in search of asylum.
The reasons for flight by most refugees have been the same, says Paul Kenya, head of the UNHCR office that oversees the Mahama camp.
“Most of them are fleeing persecution because of their perceived political opinion,” he said. “Most of them did not accept the current president to go for a third term. Many of them flee because they were in demonstrations and others are following family members who already fled.”
A senior official at the Nakivale camp, John Bosco Sentamu, also reports a continuing influx.
“The number of refugees keep going up. We have a lot of walk-ins from Burundi,” said Sentamu.
Tough conditions
Earlier this year, UNHCR and partner agencies launched an urgent $429 million appeal to meet the needs of Burundian refugees across the region. But of the requested amount, only 19 percent has been provided, making the Burundians’ situation one of the least funded refugee crises in the world.
In camps like Nakivale, refugees live in overcrowded shelters and have to endure shortages of everything, from food to water to healthcare. Sentamu says Uganda is generally hospitable to the refugees and Nakivale residents are given land to grow food. But he adds, “of late we were hit by the drought and for three seasons the refugees have not cultivated.”
Felicien Habumugisha, 52, has lived in Nakivale for nearly 10 years, after fleeing an earlier wave of unrest in Burundi.
“Food is not sufficient, no education for our children, no sponsorship and no resettlement, especially for Burundians,” he said.
But Habumugisha says he is not ready to go back to Burundi. The son of politically active parents who were killed in Burundi, he said he was arrested, released and then “hunted” the last time he lived there.
“The politics of Burundi itself is not stable. We don’t feel that Burundi is safe today for us to go back,” he told VOA.