Archive from April, 2018

Gigaba: We need zero tolerance for bad management at Home Affairs

Gigaba: We need zero tolerance for bad management at Home Affairs
EWN – 22 April 2018
JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the department is addressing the issue of long queues at home affairs offices around the country, calling it a matter of great concern.
Gigaba was speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday to talk about long queue interventions in the works.
He has named this new challenge the ‘war on queues’ campaign saying some people spend a whole day in home affairs queues and still can’t to apply for or collect their documents.
Gigaba says while the production turnaround time has been reduced the queues are unacceptably long.
“In many instances, the problem is just bad management on the ground – that’s what we need to deal with. I have said to the director general, we need to apply zero tolerance to bad management. We need a very brutal performance management approach.”

Red flags over Guptas, ANN7 staff

Red flags over Guptas, ANN7 staff
24 April 2018, IOL news
set to be hauled before Parliament to explain the naturalisation of the controversial Gupta family, who are at the centre of damning allegations of looting of state coffers running into billions of rand.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has been at pains explaining that some of the Gupta family members were naturalised long before he became the political head of the department.
It has now emerged that there was a strong push to broaden the scope of the inquiry into the naturalisation of the family to include all cases of the granting of citizenship to foreigners by the Home Affairs Department, dating back almost a decade.
This came just a day before the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs met to prepare for its inquiry.
Committee acting chairperson Donald Gumede said they would finalise the terms of reference on Monday.
“The committee has said we must get to look all the cases of naturalisation and citizenship granted under the different ministers,” Gumede said.
“We want to know who is linked to the Guptas and what were the circumstances to grant them naturalisation,” he said, adding that the cases were not many, putting the figure at 20.
The inquiry is not expected to take long “unless something happened”, he said.
“We are all concerned about this,” Gumede added.
The home affairs portfolio committee is among the four that were ordered by chairperson of committees Cedric Frolick to investigate allegations of state capture involving cabinet ministers since the leak of the Gupta emails in June last year.
The Communications Department was ordered to probe former minister Faith Muthambi over allegations that she shared confidential documents with the Guptas, among others.
The home affairs committee took a decision to pursue an inquiry into the early naturalisation of the Guptas only three weeks ago after the official opposition, the DA, tabled a motion and was supported by the ANC.
Earlier attempts were thwarted, while Lemias Mashile was still the chairperson.
On Monday, the DA’s Haniff Hoosen said it appeared there had been a shift in the ANC.
“They want to get to the bottom of this thing,” Hoosen said.
“The terms of reference should allow us to probe any matter and the involvement of the minister.”
Hoosen added that there were many cases of early naturalisation that should be probed.
“There are people in the ANN7 (24-hour news TV channel) from India who were brought into the country without the necessary documents. I want us to get to the bottom of that,” he said.
The Home Affairs Department, under Gigaba, had waived naturalisation requirements although some Gupta family members had not continuously lived in South Africa for more than five years.
It previously furnished the committee with documents as proof of the family’s investment and charity work that was used as the basis of “exceptional circumstances” in their early naturalisation.
However, questions were asked about the authenticity and veracity of information the department provided.
The Gupta brothers – Atul and Rajesh – were naturalised in 2002 and 2006 respectively.
Ajay’s wife Shiwani, mother Angoori and sons Kamal and Suraya Singhala were naturalised in 2015 after their initial group application was rejected in 2014.
At the time Atul was naturalised, the minister of home affairs was Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was at the helm when Rajesh was naturalised.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s spokesperson Joy Peter said the minister would welcome the parliamentary inquiry to look into the matter during her term.
“She can’t stop Parliament. She can’t say no,” Peter said.
“If Parliament says there is a need to conduct an investigation into the naturalisation of the Guptas, she will welcome it, definitely,” Peter said.
Buthelezi could not be reached for comment but had previously said Atul was already a permanent citizen when he applied for naturalisation.
He had said applications were processed by the department, which checked that all the legal requirements were met and then sent to the minister for signing.
“In my capacity as minister of home affairs, over 10 years, countless files crossed my desk. I do not specifically recall Mr Atul Gupta’s application, but this is not surprising as there was nothing contentious about him at that time,” Buthelezi said when the issue made headlines last month.
“Clearly no red flags had been raised by the department over his application, as any red flag would prevent the file from coming to the minister. The application would have been rejected,” he said.

Home Affairs inefficiency costing SA economy billions’

Home Affairs inefficiency costing SA economy billions’
23 April 2018 – Cape Talk
1.
Six months after applying for the new four-year non-renewable Zimbabwean Exemption Permit, Zimbabweans living in South Africa still don’t have their papers.
These were the new terms and conditions for Zimbabwean immigrants outlined by former Home Affairs Minister, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize in 2017.
The delays in issuing the relevant paperwork means some Zimbabweans face having their bank accounts closed.
Immigration Attorney, Gary Eisenberg says it is a widespread problem which affects all foreigners living in South Africa.
This could be neglect on the part of Home Affairs and now the banks have no choice but to adhere to its own internal policies not to allow money to enter those accounts without a proper visa, because if they did it would be a source of illegal activity.
— Gary Eisenberg, Immigration Attorney and founder of Eisenberg and Associates
Eisenberg also spoke about the introduction of the travel regulations which required parents to hold unabridged certificates when traveling with their children.
He says those regulations became a problem when Home Affairs could not issue those certificates in time, resulting in trips being cancelled and businesses losing money.
It is not only on the part of Zimbabweans, this is also costing the economy billions. This is the kind of inefficiency we are talking about…
— Gary Eisenberg, Immigration Attorney and founder of Eisenberg and Associates

On Africa’s big dreams

On Africa’s big dreams
April 16, 2018 – Independent
Last month, Rwanda hosted the African Union’s summit on the Continent Free Trade Area (CFTA). The discussions were as inspiring as they were frustrating. Leaders from government and the private sector talked big about the benefits of integration. Some even suggested an African crypto-currency. There is a mistaken belief that the existence of a common interest is sufficient to promote a collective effort to achieve it. This is rarely true.
African nations are young; they lack entrenched interests and profound national culture to drive consistent policy. So they sacrifice broader national interests over petty squabbles. For instance,I attended a discussion where South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was a panelist. The summit was being held in Rwanda. Ramaphosa spoke eloquently on African integration. Yet South Africa imposed a visa ban on Rwandans because of a disagreement between Kigali and Pretoria during the Jacob Zuma administration. Why punish ordinary Rwandans over a quarrel with their government?
The challenge to integration in Africa is the tendency to seek big dreams when our governments have failed to fix small things. For example, it is very hard for Africans to travel, leave alone to work, within Africa due to poor air connectivity; difficult visa and working permit requirements. Ugandans need a visa to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan next door. So the gap between rhetoric and action in Africa is huge.
One of the reasons many people admire President Paul Kagame is he matches his words with government policies. Rwanda is the only country in Africa that allows all Africans to get a visa on arrival. How can Africa integrate when small things like ease of travel to visit or work by Africans within Africa are very difficult for our governments to implement? Does it need a summit of heads of state to remove visa requirements for Africans traveling within Africa? Without such a summit, most African countries allow Europeans and North Americans to apply for visas at the port of entry.
There were many discussions of how to make Africa hospitable to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), by which they meant attracting American, European, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern capital. There was zero (and I mean zero) discussion of how to harness domestic capital as a driver of transformation. FDI has become the obsession of every African country and leader. It is easier for even a conman pausing as a foreign investor from China, America, Europe, the Middle East or India to meet a president of an African country than a big genuine local investor.
The CFTA is meant to promote continent trade. But we must remember that international trade is a value chain: some countries produce cotton; others weave cloths while others market high fashion. Some countries mine iron ore; others produce steel while others sell automobiles. How much a country earns from trade depends on its position in this value chain. The poorest countries export raw cotton and iron ore; middle-income countries weave cloths and produce steel. The richest countries market high fashion like Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton and Toyota, Ford and Audi.
If you export raw cotton, you earn 1.9% of the international price of the final product – a Louis Vuitton shirt. If you weave cloths, you earn about 15% of the final value. For labeling the same cloths Louis Vuitton, the designer takes about 60 to 65% of the final value – the rest going as a margin for transportation, retail, storage etc. The same applies to those who export iron ore. To be producer and exporter of unprocessed goods, as Africa has done for the last 100 years, is to render oneself perpetually poor. This has harmful implications for the welfare of our people and the politics of our nations. Poor countries are characterised by “bad politics”.
Therefore, the process of moving from a poor to a rich country is a process of upgrading from being exporters of low value unprocessed goods to high value manufactured products. Yet there was little discussion of manufacturing as a driver of ourtransformation. Indeed, if you look across Africa, the continent is actually deindustrialising i.e. the ratio of manufacturing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is declining in many countries or has been stagnant for decades or is growing marginally – except for Ethiopia. Even South Africa, Africa’s industrial giant, is deindustrialising.
Now why is FDI a poor vehicle for Africa’s transformation? As a rule, multinational corporations do not shift the most valuable aspects of their business to their subsidiaries. Apple is not going to shift the design and marketing of the iPhone to her subsidiary in Nairobi. Forget it. It will remain in California. However, it can outsource assembling, which it has done to China. Design and marketing of the iPhone constitutes 60 to 65% of the total value, assembling only 15%, the rest going into retail, transport, insurance etc.

Ramaphosa announces R1.2 trillion investment drive

Ramaphosa announces R1.2 trillion investment drive
Apr 16 2018 – Fin 24
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday evening that South Africa would host a major investment conference in August or September 2018, which would aim to raise over R1trn in new investments over five years.
“The investment conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate,” said Ramaphosa, according to his prepared notes.
He was speaking at OR Tambo International Airport, before leaving for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
“Rather, we expect the conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market. We are determined that the conference produce results that can be quantified and quickly realised.”
Ramaphosa said government hopes that the conference would generate at least $100bn – or about R1.2trn -in new investments over the next five years.
“Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy.”
The president first referred to plans to hold an major investment conference during his maiden State of the Nation Address in mid-February.
Special envoys
Ramaphosa also unveiled the names of four ‘special envoys on investment’, who he said would spend the next few months engaging both domestic and foreign investors around economic opportunities in SA.
They are former minister of finance Trevor Manuel, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas, executive chair of the Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, and chair of the Liberty Group and former Standard Bank head Jacko Maree.
“They will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors. A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo,” he said.
The president also named businesswoman Trudi Makhaya as his economic adviser. Makhaya holds a number of degrees in business and economics, including from Oxford University and the University of the Witwatersrand.
Ramaphosa said that Makhaya would coordinate the work of the four special envoys and organise a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the conference.
According to Makhaya’s website, she has served as an adviser and angel investor to a number of companies, and has held non-executive directorships at Vumelana Advisory Fund and MTN South Africa.
She has also held management or consulting roles at Deloitte South Africa, Genesis Analytics, AngloGold Ashanti and the Competition Commission.

Peter Dutton’s department blocked white South African farmer’s asylum bid

Peter Dutton’s department blocked white South African farmer’s asylum bid
13 Apr 2018 – The Guardian
A man who applied for asylum on the grounds of ‘harm on the basis of his race’ had his claim denied
Peter Dutton’s department blocked a white South African farmer’s asylum bid because its evidence showed “the vast majority of crimes against whites are not racially motivated”.
A delegate for Dutton also shut down a second, separate asylum bid by a white South African woman who feared racially motivated persecution, arguing there was no evidence she “had been targeted because of her race or gender or that she would be targeted for this reason upon her return”.
To be granted refugee status, an asylum seeker must have a well-founded fear of persecution for one or more of a number of legislated reasons: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
The two decisions, both made by immigration authorities in 2015, appear to be at odds with Dutton’s recent stance in support of protecting white South African farmers.
In March Dutton said the farmers deserved “special attention” from a “civilised country” like Australia on humanitarian grounds. Dutton’s comments followed reporting and opinion writing in News Corp newspapers that white farmers in South Africa were being targeted, and was backed by Tony Abbott.
It sparked a rebuke from the South African government and was rejected by the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, who noted that Australia’s humanitarian visa program was “non-discriminatory”.
This week Dutton received a written request from a man in the South African community to “fast track” a quota of South Africans. It came amid reports of government MPs discussing options to take several thousand in one go, likening it to the 12,000 humanitarian visas given to Syrians fleeing the deadly civil war.
The first decision to deny a white South African farmer’s asylum bid, which was upheld by the administrative appeals tribunal in September last year, involved a man who asked for protection from the immigration department in January 2015, because he “fears harm on the basis of his race” should he return home.
The man told the immigration department he was the victim of a serious attack at his home in 1998, where his wife and another five people were murdered, and he was left with serious injuries. The claim was corroborated by media reporting.
But the immigration department knocked back his asylum request in July 2015, arguing there was little evidence of racially motivated crime against white farmers or white South Africans.
The department’s stance was only made public because the farmer appealed the decision to the administrative appeals tribunal, which again ruled against the farmer’s application for protection.
“The delegate of the department in the decision record dated [July] 2015 referred to country sources which indicate that although white farmers are targeted for crime at a rate higher than other white people in the country, there was also significant crime against black farm workers,” the tribunal’s decision read.
“Furthermore, the department referred to sources which indicate that the vast majority of crimes against whites are not racially motivated, but rather are crimes for financial gain.”
In ruling on the farmer’s appeal, the tribunal also downplayed the notion of racially motivated violence against white South Africans. It accepted he genuinely feared harm in South Africa, and agreed he had experienced “horrific and terrible” crime himself.
“However the evidence discussed above indicates that the motive of the perpetrators of crime is considerably more likely to be based on economic need, and a violent subculture, rather than race,” the tribunal ruled. “Sources also indicate that there is a general level of violence arising out of criminal activity in South Africa, which affects the entire population.
“Some groups, such as young black men or women in black townships, are affected disproportionately, with one commentator stating that people in ‘suburbs can buy security that people in townships cannot’.”
In the second case, a delegate for Dutton rejected an asylum bid by a white South African woman in March 2015 after the woman asked for Australia’s protection.
The woman was not a farmer but said she and her son would be targeted in South Africa “because they are ethnically white South Africans”. Dutton’s delegate argued there was no evidence to support her claims of racial persecution.
“The delegate accepted that the applicant had been the victim of crimes in 2002 and 2008, but did not accept she had been targeted because of her race or gender or that she would be targeted for this reason upon her return,” an appeal judgment said.
The situation in South Africa has changed since the two decisions were made by immigration authorities. Earlier this year, the nation’s parliament passed a motion that may lead to the seizure of land from farmers without paying compensation. The South African government says it is attempting to redistribute land fairly, but insists no one is being persecuted or having their rights taken away.
Dutton was contacted for comment but did not respond.

UK Ancestral Visa: 3 Common mistakes SA applicants make

UK Ancestral Visa: 3 Common mistakes SA applicants make
2018-04-10 19:00 – News 24
Cape Town – It seems more than ever that South African’s are wanting to explore and work in other countries. There has been an increase in popularity of South Africans heading to the United Kingdom – with the help of their ancestral visa.
Many South Africans hold ancestral roots with the United Kingdom – owing to a thriving expat community of about 200 00 South Africans living in the UK. If you’re wanting to join these up and coming individuals there are a number of things to consider.
Overall, the process of applying for an ancestral visa can appear daunting as you want to ensure that it is successful. While some might be concerned about the implications Brexit – since the decision to leave the EU has caused much uncertainty for immigrants within the UK – it does not directly impact South Africans in the UK or those locals wanting to visit on an ancestral visa.
Here’s what necessary and crucial information you need to know about – to make this process easier and to ensure a smooth application overall.
3 Common mistakes ancestral visa applicants make

SA’s British High Commissioner spokesperson, Isabel Potgieter has stressed that there are three common mistakes applicants make during or prior to initiating the process.
Firstly, it is important to understand and read the guidelines thoroughly and to fully understand the process and its requirements, advises Potgieter.
The situation of applying for a visa is not as straightforward as many would hope due to individual specific circumstances or conditions.
Secondly, applicants are strongly encouraged to understand their ancestral heritage/lineage to the countries needed specifically for the application to be considered. This means that one must check whether the grandparents was born in a country that is seen as applicable when applying for an ancestral visa to the UK. In many instances applicants are unaware of whether their lineage applies and how it does.
A third common mistake made is not obtaining the proper birth certificate information for the relevant grandparent – meaning it must be intact and valid.
It is crucial to adhere to the requirements and to thoroughly read the instructions – to ensure that your application has a strong chance of being accepted, states Potgieter.
Key information
Before you go ahead and book your ticket to whisk you away to the UK there are a few important factors you need to know. It is important that you are able to tick yes with these three requirements before you begin the process and check off on the complete list of eligibility requirements to get a UK ancestral visa.
Apply if:
1. Are a commonwealth citizen – you can find out if this is applicable to you here.
2. Able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
3. If you are able and planning on working in the UK
Cost:
Application cost: R8 444.45
There is a cost for the healthcare surcharge – this cost is either paid online or at premium service centre.
When will I know?
Applications take three weeks to process.
Duration of validity:
Visa valid for 5 years.
When to apply:
You can apply three months before you travel.
Basic DOs and DONT’s
You can: Work, study and bring family members
You can’t: Switch to a UK visa if you are in the UK on another type of visa and you cannot get public funds.
There is a full list of eligibility that must be read and is a strict requirement of the application process. Even though you might have ticked some of the requirements mentioned above there is a more detailed list of requirements –
Are you eligible?
Here are the strict requirements:
1. 17 years +
2. Enough money to support yourself or dependents without public funding.
3. Able and plan on working in the UK
The question of ancestry is often misunderstood as each individual has different circumstances that cater to themselves. However, there are rigid rules as to whether you can be considered for an ancestral visa on the basis of your ancestry.
It is very important to take note of this and ensure that your ancestry is applicable.
Ancestral requirements
In order for one’s ancestry to apply you must prove that one of your grandparents were born under the following circumstances –
1. Have documented proof of birth in the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands – this proof must be produced in birth certificate form.
2. Have documented proof that they were born in the Republic of Ireland before 1922.
3. In the circumstances that they were on a British registered ship or aircraft
You can also claim for ancestry if either you or your parents have –
1. Been adopted
2. Were born within or outside of marriage in the UK.
It is important to know that ancestry cannot be applicable if applied through via step-parents or grandparents.
Documentation required
General application documents:
1. Proof of passport – it must be currently valid and have a single blank page for the visa.
2. Bank statements – proof of financial support.
3. Tuberculosis test results – test costs must be paid for independently and is applicable if you are entering the UK for 6 months +.
South Africans are considered on the list to conduct a tuberculosis test as a part of their application process. There are designated testing centres chosen by the British Commission across SA. It is a process that must be adhered to.
When taking the Tuberculosis test ensure that you take the following with you:
– Two passport photos
– Passport
– Proof of payment for Tuberculosis test
Ancestral documents:
1. Your full birth certificate.
2. Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate if your partner wants to join you.
3. Full birth certificates of the parent or grandparent that your ancestry claim is based on.
4. Marriage certificates of either your parents or grandparents.
5. Legal adoption papers if you or your parents were adopted.
There is a more detailed list that one can review
Apply
The application process is carried out online.
Part of the application requires that biometric information – a photograph and finger prints be taken at the nearest visa application centre. They are located across South Africa and are known as The TSL contact centre in SA.
When applying online – follow this process:
1. Fill the application form out in English
2. Pay the visa fee – online
3. Print out the form
4. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation required
5. Visit the nearest Visa application centre.
There is an online site for applying for UK visas, Visa4UK.
Residency and visa extensions
The ancestral visa lasts 5 years and one can apply for residence once your ancestral visa validity has ended. This proves to benefit many South Africans because they can easily assume permanent residence in the UK upon the ending of their ancestral visa.
There is also the option to extend the ancestral visa for another 5 years and this application process can be carried out individually via post or through a premium service provider. A form can be downloaded
Cost: £993 (about R16 923 via post and £1 583 (about R26 979 at R1) in person and through a premium service provider.
Decision:
– postal applications are provided with a decision in 8 weeks
– in person applications will find out the same day if they have been successful
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