Archive from May, 2018

South African Home Affairs enters the future with a new biometric identification system

May 18, 2018 • IT News
On Wednesday, May 16, South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, launched a new automated biometric identification system that will offer a single source for biometric authentication for citizens. This is new identification system forms an integral part of the Department’s Modernisation Programme.
This Automated Biometric Identification System, or ABIS, is an identification system which will also act as a security solution, and will replace the outdated and manually operated Home Affairs National Identity System, the idea being to merge the two into an automated system through ABIS with the capability to identify and verify people through fingerprints, facial recognition and iris technology. However, the system’s iris and palm print recognition capabilities are only scheduled to come online by 2019/20.
ABIS forms a fundamental baseline for the broader National Identification System, which will encompass the data of both South Africans and foreign nationals in a single data base.
At the launch of this new system at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town on Wednesday, the Minister Gigaba said that the system will drastically change the manner in which South Africans are identified and will form the backbone of how the public and private sectors will manage the authentication of their clients.

South Africans exposed in another massive data breach: report

Close to a million (934,000) personal records of South Africans have reportedly been publicly exposed online, following what appears to be a governmental leak.
According to a report by iAfrikan journalist Tefo Mohapi and ‘Have I been pwned‘ analyst Troy Hunt, the data includes, among others, national identity numbers (ID numbers), e-mail addresses, full names, as well as plain text passwords to what appears to be a traffic fine-related online system.
Mohapi said the data was backed up or posted publicly by one of the companies responsible online payments of traffic fine in South Africa.
“This is yet another reminder of how far our data can spread without our knowledge. In this case, in particular, the presence of plain text passwords poses a serious risk because, inevitably, those passwords will unlock many of the other accounts victims of the breach use.
“This one incident has likely already led to multiple other breaches of online accounts due to that reuse,”said Hunt, quoted by iAfrikan.
Posting on Twitter, Hunt said that leak will be uploaded to his website shortly, allowing South Africans to check if they have been affected by the breach.
This marks the second major breach in just under a year, with over 60 million South African exposed in a similar data breach in 2017.
It was recently reported that 96,000 South Africans were also affected by the recent Cambridge Analytica breach.

Gauteng launches its first drone programme: here’s what they’re being used for

Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Monday launched the province’s first drone programme. The department said it aims to use technology to become an efficient provider of services.
“The drone project adds a new dimension to the monitoring capability of the department,” it said. The drone, which is the first to be used to monitor infrastructure projects in tandem with the business intelligence house in DID’s nerve centre, Lutsinga Infrastructure House.
This new intervention essentially combines human intelligence, business intelligence and now artificial intelligence to ensure that the entire value chain of project deliver is efficient and that projects are delivered in time, within cost and at the right quality.
“It is possible for the public sector to be efficient and to be productive in what we do and that is exactly what we are demonstrating today,” said Mamabolo during the launch.
Through the drone project, the department ensures that construction work is done in line with work schedules. The drone also helps in the monitoring of safety compliance on construction sites to meet health standards.
The programme allows DID to identify blockages in the delivery of construction projects to visit sites, troubleshoot and intervene to improve our project management performance and productivity.
“One of the things that we have looked at is that globally infrastructure performance is lagging behind other industries. Therefore over the past two years we’ve been working hard to introduce efficiencies across the value chain of development,” Mamabolo said.
The department has been piloting drones since early January this year and the official launch today marks the success of the project, it said.
Project pipeline
Over the next three years, DID has committed to delivering 340 projects – valued at about R4.5 billion – on time, within cost and at the right quality.
The department has, for the first time, publicly unveiled a three-year portfolio of all its community infrastructure projects including new schools, libraries, clinics, licensing centres and community centres, following two years of behind the scene planning to manage its vast and complex projects.
The project pipeline will be used to prioritize projects which are ready for implementation for tracking and monitoring to improve project management processes as well as to speed up delivery to Gauteng communities.
All the pipeline projects were subjected to the Project Readiness Matrix (PRM), an innovative tool designed by the department, to assist in the assessment of all the critical and stage specific Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS) requirements, before projects are considered for inclusion in the pipeline.
The department said it will also be able to improve its reporting by ensuring that all information is gathered from one source. “Most importantly, the monitoring of project performance will further enable the department to proactively manage compliance issues largely residing in other spheres of government, such as local municipalities.”
“Annually we spend almost a trillion rands in infrastructure as government, which is a lot of money. Whilst we are spending this money, the built and construction continues to be depressed,” said Mamabolo.
He said that the project pipeline classifies projects in three categories: platinum for projects to be implemented in the 2018/19 financial year, Silver for 2019/20 and Coal for project that will be completed in the 2020/21. He said this allows DID to manage these projects more efficiently as these are now more transparent.
These projects are tested through the Project Readiness Matrix to ensure that there are no glitches that see projects experiencing endless delays.
“The project pipeline forms part of a major turnaround initiative by DID to standardise its project management approach through the use smart technologies to manage data from one source through the establishment of the Lutsinga nerve centre,” it said.

How much UK, US, Australian and other popular visas will cost South Africans in 2018

19 May 2018 – Bus tech
The issue of visas has continued to dominate local news over the past few weeks, with Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton stating that he is now actively considering “several” applications from South African farmers for refugee or humanitarian status in Australia.
The country also recently announced a new visa scheme aimed at attracting highly skilled migrants from countries such as South Africa, in a bid to help grow Australian businesses.
However, Australia is not the only country that is looking overseas to boost its workforce, with the UK also looking to boost foreign employment due to a high employment rate and an exodus of workers following the announcement on Brexit.
While these moves are considered good news for working professionals, it may actually be more difficult to obtain a visa for South Africans looking to travel in 2018, as a number of countries (notably those in the Schengen area) have introduced an overall tightening of documentation from ‘high-risk’ countries such as South Africa.
Below you can find the costs for these and other countries when applying for a short-term visa in 2018.
The below prices do not include collection fees and other additional surcharges.
United Kingdom

Visa Cost (in rands)
6 months (visit) R1 601
2 years (visit) R6 026
5 years (visit) R10 950
10 years (visit) R13 739
Skilled Worker R1 670
Student worker R13 739

Visa Cost (in rands)
Tourist visa (3 months) R1 290
Working holiday (6 months) R4 055
Student visa (varies) R5 160
Temporary work visa (short stay specialist) R2 580
New Zealand

Visa Cost (in rands)
Visitor visa (up to 9 months) R1 490
Student visa R2 450
Temporary work visa R2 275
Limited visa – seasonal work visa R2 450

Visa Cost (in rands)
Student visa R1 920
Tourist visa R1 920
Temporary work visa R2 280
Specialised work visa R2 460
Fiancé or Spouse of a U.S Citizen R2 460

Visa Cost in local currency
96-hour R650
Tourist – short term (30 days) R1 080
Tourist – long term (90 days) R2 615
Tourist – long term (multiple-entry) R5 720

South African passport holders currently need a Schengen visa to visit large parts of Europe.
The Schengen visa allows access to all the 22 European Union member states as well as four members of the European Free Trade Association including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Hungary and Sweden.
A Schengen visa allows the holder to stay in the Schengen Territory for up to 90 days per six months; however, pricing differs slightly according to age and location.
Since May 2008, the fee for a short stay Schengen visa (less than 90 days) is €60 (R885), while the fee for a long stay visa (more than 90 days) is €99 (R1,460).
Children between the ages of 6 and below 12 years old pay €35 (R369).

Do South Africans need a visa to travel to India?

Do South Africans need a visa to travel to India?
A certain family of billionaires make travelling between the two countries look so easy.
The South African – 2018-05-17
to travel to India, we’ll be honest and tell you right now that we are jealous. A beautiful country with a rich history, the jewel of the Asian sub-continent is a destination like no other.
But of course, gaining access to one of the world’s most populated nations comes at a price. We’ve done a bit of research and had a look at what exactly is required from any South Africans who want to visit.
Do I need a visa to travel to India from South Africa?
Yes you do. A tourist visa allows you to visit the country for recreational and ceremonial purposes only. So if you’re sightseeing, going to a wedding or just enjoying a holiday, it’s a relatively straightforward process. VFS global offer all types of visas:
• Business Visa
• Employment Visa
• Any other visa that doesn’t fit the description
What exceptions are there?
If you’re a Pakistani national, you’ll have to apply for a visit visa.
Certain professions require a “journalist” visa. It basically covers anything that would fall under a “media” description. Things such as cinema, television, media, writing, publishing, press, photography, communication, advertising are all listed.
Yes, you will have to apply for this visa even if you’re just visiting, rather than working.
How much does an Indian visa cost?
The most popular tourist options are the one-year visa and one-to-five-year visa.
For the one-year visa, you are allowed to visit India multiple times within a 12 month period. This is the best option for a one-off trip.
If you have friends, family or other interests in India and see yourself visiting on a regular basis, you’ll want the one-to-five-year visa. It gives you an allowance of multiple trips up to and including a five-year period.
• One-year visa: R1200
• One-to-five-year visa: R2400
Costs for student, film industry, journalist and various business visas can all be found in this handy table. Only page one and two apply to South African nationals on the document. The second page contains the prices in a nutshell:
What documents must I provide for an Indian visa?
• Original Passport valid for at least six months from the date of return. Passport must contain a minimum of three blank pages.
• Two passport-sized coloured photographs conforming to Indian Government norms as per specifications.
• Online application form submitted to the correct Indian Mission.
• Return airline reservation with a detailed itinerary.
• Certified copy of the passport.
• Proof of residence in South Africa, such as utility bill / FICA document for South Africans & Foreign nationals
• A three-month bank statement of the applicant with applicants name.
• Applicants of Indian Origin require proof of surrendered documentation (if previous nationality was Indian).
• Original proof of payment for visa application
How long will it take to process the visa?
Minimum of five days for SA Nationals, minimum seven days for foreign nationals
and minimum six-to-eight weeks for applicants of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nigerian nationality.
How long can I stay in India for?
Tourist visas are usually made valid for stays of up to six months, or 180 days. However, it is entirely up to the consulate if they decide to shorten your stay based on the application you have submitted – any missing documents can limit this.
The validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date you begin your travel to India. Applications will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.

Home affairs pushing hard for new visa requirements and e-visas

18 May 2018 – News24
With 10.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2017, the Department of Tourism is working hard alongside the Department of Home Affairs to push this number even higher.
This is according to minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom, who presented his departmental budget vote for the 2018/2019 financial year on Thursday (17 May).
“One of the most effective ways to increase tourist arrivals is to make it easier for people to travel to our country,” he said.
“A simple analysis of the arrival figures for 2017 shows that while visitor numbers from visa exempt countries grew impressively, the opposite is true for visa requiring countries.
“In 2017, after the decision that visas would no longer be required for Russian tourists, Russian visitors increased by 52%. In sharp contrast to this, after we imposed a visa requirement on New Zealand, the numbers dropped by 24%,” he said.
Hanekom added that discussions with minister of home affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to further lessen restrictions have been ‘most encouraging’.
“They informed us of their intention to introduce e-visas during this financial year. Meanwhile, they are working hard to have systems in place to recognise the Schengen visa and valid visas for the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia as sufficient for tourists to enter South Africa,” he said.
“We have also agreed to bring the requirements for travelling minors in line with the practice in the USA, UK and other countries. This will go a long way to boost family travel and end the traumatic experience of travellers being turned away by airlines,” he added.
The regulations aimed at minors were introduced by home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba in 2015 under the banner of preventing instances of child trafficking. However, by 2016, after many complaints and a huge knock to South Africa’s tourism numbers, the department said it would rework the laws.
According to data compiled by the DA, the rules cost South Africa as much as R7.5 billion, due to lost business from blocked tourists.
Electronic visas
The promise of e-visas was first officially unveiled in a March 2018 parliamentary Q & A session – making it easier for tourists to enter into the country thanks to the online capture of visa and permit applications and capturing of applicants’ biometrics both locally and abroad.
The Department of Home Affairs has since confirmed that the first phase of the e-visa system will be piloted by the 31 March 2019.
It has further indicated that the rollout of phase one of the e-visa system will be at a foreign mission, embassy or local home affairs office yet to be determined, with the pilot phase initially covering temporary residence visas, adjudication of temporary residence visas, applications for waivers, applicant notifications and biometric details, it said.

South Africa now relaxes tough visa rules for Kenyans

22 May 2018 – The Nairobi News
Kenyans are set to receive visas on arrival into South Africa in new rules as the country revises its immigration policy.
South African Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom revealed the plans on the sidelines of a travel conference.
He said Kenya is among countries whose citizens will apply for E-Visas that will be issued upon arrival.
The new policy will exempt more countries from visa requirements when entering South Africa in a bid to grow its tourism sector.
Kenyans travelling to South Africa have in the past decried stringent visa requirements prompting a series of meetings by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa has already eased visa restrictions on Kenyan students.
Stringent visa restrictions by South Africa against Kenyans in recent years have extended to the issuance of work permits, forcing many professionals to relocate.
The two countries have been in talks for a while and at some point Kenya threatened to reintroduce visa application for South African passport holders before coming into the country