Archive from May, 2018

Woman had to buy fake permit to get child into school

Woman had to buy fake permit to get child into school

10 May 2018 – Groundup
No place at school without a study permit, but no study permit without a place in school, complain Zimbabwean parents
Zimbabwean families caught between the departments of Home Affairs and Education are resorting to buying fake documents in order to register their children at schools in South Africa.
Some schools will not accept immigrant children without a study permit from Home Affairs. But Home Affairs will not issue a study permit without proof of acceptance from a school, say immigrants.
Stuck between the two departments, families are buying fake study permits for about R300.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer, said schools were required to issue a letter to foreign learners who had been provisionally accepted. This letter should be sufficient for Home Affairs to issue a study permit.
But some schools are not doing so. “I visited four schools in Retreat trying to register for grade 1 for my child but I could not,” said one Zimbabwean mother, who has been in South Africa since 2008.
“All the schools required the child’s study permit or asylum seeker’s document. The two government departments are ruining our children. The requirements are pushing our children out of school,” she says.
The mother, who is on a Zimbabwe Special Permit, which she renewed last year, says she bought fake asylum-seeker documents for her child, and used these to get a document from the school. Now she is planning to visit Home Affairs with the legitimate school documents, get a study permit, and throw away the fake documents.
“Though I am planning to get a proper study permit it will take time because again I have to produce R1,350 for the study permit. I need to work for months for that money. I could take my child back home to Zimbabwe, but I cannot stay separated from my child,” she says.
She works as a childminder.
Another Zimbabwean mother, who did not want to be named, tried to register her child for grade R, without success, though she has been in South Africa since 2009 on a Zimbabwe Special Permit.
Her five-year-old was born in South Africa but has no birth certificate.
“After visiting several schools I resorted to a fake study permit which I submitted to one of the schools,” she says.
She is planning to apply for a visitor’s visa for her child.
Thabo Mokgola, media liaison officer at Home Affairs, said parents should apply for study permits for their children while they are still in Zimbabwe. The parents of Zimbabwean children born in South Africa should get a birth certificate from the department, then a passport from the Zimbabwean Embassy, and then apply for a study permit.
Parents should contact the District Office for assistance if schools are not complying, said Shelver.

Organisations across the board can thrive in the smart technology era, and lower the probability of being disrupted by competitors on multiple fronts.

Organisations across the board can thrive in the smart technology era, and lower the probability of being disrupted by competitors on multiple fronts.
Register now to attend Meeting of Minds: ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018 at The Forum, Bryanston on 1 and 2 August. Jacques Ludik will join other industry leaders in discussing their experience of the best practices for artificial intelligence, machine learning, IOT and robotics.

Moreover, implementing end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can lead to myriad business benefits, including increased productivity and revenue, lowered risk and costs, and enhanced customer experience.
So says Jacques Ludik, president and founder of the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, and CEO and founder of Cortex Logic, who will present on “Solving strategic and operationally relevant problems through operationalising AI, data science, IOT and big data and analytics”, at Meeting of Minds: ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018, to be held at The Forum in Bryanston, on 1 and 2 August.
“Properly implemented AI-based solutions address business value drivers that lead to an optimised business, a satisfied, growing customer base, productive employees and smart systems, which in turn help accelerate decision-making, innovation, collaboration and growth,” he adds.
In addition, smart technologies help businesses that are dissatisfied with their speed or inability to unlock value from big data, IOT and data science, allowing them to tap into state-of-the-art AI to solve strategic and operationally relevant problems.
No roadmap
Speaking of where businesses are going wrong when it comes to harnessing these technologies, Ludik says many businesses don’t have a practical big data and analytics, IOT and AI roadmap, and they don’t appear to measure return on smart technology solutions.
Businesses are typically not focused on implementing end-to-end smart technology solutions, and have divisions that operate in silos, meaning that all of the data available to the company isn’t being harnessed, he says. “Also, many businesses don’t have a solid, scalable data infrastructure and smart data layers.”
Another problem, he says, is that organisations typically struggle when it comes to attracting top talent as well as cultivating the best possible environment for that talent.
Too many organisations, he says, when implementing AI solutions, only do so in a narrow way, such as only offline and not having automated AI which is integrated into the business. “They are not focused on end-to-end full-stack, integrated, scalable and secure solutions, and are not using state-of-the-art AI.”
Also, they are not adaptable and agile, and don’t use all available structured and unstructured data. They are not using an automated champion-challenger approach, and are not collaborating with AI/smart technology partners that can help them to accelerate the operationalisation of smart technology solutions.
Better perspective
Delegates attending Ludik’s talk will discover how end-to-end AI solutions can unlock value from all available structured and unstructured data to increase operational efficiency, effectiveness and revenue, and create strategic value via faster, better and more proactive decisions, enhanced scalability, new business models and revenue growth opportunities.
They will also learn how these solutions can enhance customer experience via real-time, on demand, digital, personalised service delivery, assistance and advice which is enabled via 360-degree insights about the customer, and enable more targeted sales and marketing.
Ludik will also discuss specific solutions and their applications, including strategic business transformation, intelligent virtual assistants, robo-advisors, process optimisation, predictive maintenance, fraud detection, churn prediction, advanced risk scoring, cyber security, medical risk prediction, precision medicine and many more.
Finally, he will discuss working collaboratively with innovative AI partners, and how that can help companies thrive in the smart technology era and be agile, innovative and adapt quickly to remain relevant given the swift pace of change, and disruption to business and society.

Britain’s immigration scandal reveals a lack of humanity

Britain’s immigration scandal reveals a lack of humanity
May 05, 2018 – Arab News
It has become customary for politicians to eventually lose their jobs, not because of their incompetence, not even because they preside over sinister policies, but because they have been found to be untruthful about their work. The phrase they usually roll out in such cases, and which Amber Rudd dutifully employed earlier this week when she was forced to resign as Britain’s Home Secretary, was that she “inadvertently misled Parliament” over targets for removing illegal immigrants – the emphasis being, of course on the “inadvertently.” In a matter of days, Rudd misled her fellow legislators, and by extension the electorate, then on being found out became defiant and evasive about it, only to end up eating humble pie, and lots of it, in her resignation letter to the prime minister.
Last week, when Rudd appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions concerning whether she knew about targets to remove illegal immigrants, she gave a disingenuous picture. In her subsequent resignation letter she claims to take full responsibility, admitting that the information about those targets was available in her department but somehow she was not aware of it. How come this rising star of the Conservative Party, who in a matter of less than a decade was elevated from obscurity to hold one of the most important and complex departments of government, was oblivious to a policy which is at the heart of her party’s creed and electoral promises?
It took a leaked memo, published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, from Rudd to Prime Minister Elizabeth May, in which she set a clear target for increasing enforced removals of immigrants by more than 10 per cent, not only to expose the inaccuracies in her presentation to Parliament but also her party and government’s mentality when it comes to immigration. Her memo leaves little room for doubt about how keen she was to impress the prime minister with her robust approach to tackling illegal immigration. She committed herself to pursue this policy through encouraging officials to concentrate on “arresting, detaining and forcibly removing illegal migrants.” Not only was she was promising to “ruthlessly” uproot these migrants, but also to prioritize Home Office resources to execute that program.
On the face of it, who could argue with a member of Cabinet who is doing nothing more than fulfilling her duty to the public to end the presence of people who reside illegally in the British Isles? Moreover, as she says in her memo to the prime minister, the policy was targeting “organized immigration crime,” to “make sure that we target the gangs and criminals profiting from people trafficking and smuggling.” One can almost hear applause all around for a Home Secretary fighting those nasty criminal traffickers: who wouldn’t like to see them kicked out of the country, or even better, put behind bars?
These people arrived at the shores of this country at the invitation of the British government, due to the severe lack of labor in the years following the end of the Second World War. They helped to put the country back together again. Then the country turned its back on them.
Yossi Mekelberg
It sounded almost plausible, until the scandal of the legal status of the Windrush generation, who were welcomed to Britain as immigrants between the late 1940s and 1971, hit the headlines. Then it became crystal clear that the Home Office is not only trying to remove gangs of outlaws, but also innocent people who have made an immense contribution to their adopted country. These men and women, who arrived in the UK from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere in the West Indies and the wider Commonwealth, and their descendants, have been caught up in a Kafkaesque immigration bureaucracy that, after all this time, suddenly demands that they supply proof of their legal right to reside in the UK, even though it was the Home Office who did not keep proper records of their settling in the country, and even went as far as having many of those records destroyed. Many of them were not provided documentation by the British government, and consequently it is difficult, to almost impossible, for the Windrush arrivals to prove they are in the UK legally, even if they have lived and worked here for 70 years. These people arrived at the shores of this country at the invitation of the British government, due to the severe lack of labor in the years following the end of the Second World War. They helped to put the country back together again. Then the country turned its back on them.
In the current anti-immigration atmosphere in the UK, when immigration officers set targets to remove anyone without the correct documentation, the ageing members of the Windrush generation are the softest target. Outrageously, those officers, instructed by their political masters, are lumping together loyal and hard-working migrants with gangs of criminals, and depriving them of their basic rights. It is all done to massage immigration statistics to make them more palatable to right-wing nationalist backbenchers and their allies in certain quarters of the British media. And it is being carried out with a complete lack of humanity.
In their retirement, nearly 60,000 of the Windrush generation who are still non-UK nationals have faced a rude awakening to the fact that they are now without legal rights to stay in the UK and without any right to state benefits, including medical insurance. This is the result of the “hostile environment” policy put in motion by the anti-immigration school of thought led by none other than May in her previous role as Home Secretary. But thanks to the exposure by the media, followed by pressure from Parliament, the Windrush generation has now not only received an apology from the Prime Minister and the outgoing Home Secretary, but also the process of recognizing their rights to remain indefinitely in the country, and with it access to public services, has gathered momentum.
However, the Windrush affair has left a bitter taste in the mouth. It could have been, and should have been, resolved a long time ago, had it not been for the callous and arbitrary approach of politicians and civil servants in their constant attempts to appease and sedate those who are a-priori anti-immigration. There is also a lingering suspicion that this kind of treatment has befallen probably many more who simply accepted their fate and “voluntarily” left the country or were deported, not even knowing their legal rights.
If the government is interested in learning any lesson from this sorry episode, it should learn to treat people who come to work and live in the United Kingdom as human beings and not as numbers. Changing the discourse to one that values the contribution of migrants, instead of regarding them as a burden, might be a good start.

Why should I use a registered migration agent?

Why should I use a registered migration agent?

In South Africa, unregistered people working as migration agents are not breaking the law but are unregulated and you have no recourse for poor advice which will have devasting consequences on your application and your future in South Africa .
This is because people who are not registered might:
• not know about current South African legislation and procedures
• give you incorrect advice
• make false claims about your chances of success.
Advantages of a registered Immigration Practitioner:
• knows the current South African Immigration legislation and procedures
• writes a licensing exam and is registered with FIPSA / Law Society
• will always give you correct advice
• will be honest about your chances of success
• will go for regular training with Department of Home Affairs, Department of Labour, VFS and Department of Trade and Industry.
Applying in South Africa: if you want to report an unregistered person, you can contact us (free of charge).
Applying outside South Africa: if you are outside South Africa and suspect that an unregistered person has broken the law, you can report them to your local law enforcement authority and tell your nearest immigration office or SA Embassy .
If you think that a migration agent is acting unprofessionally, you should also tell your nearest immigration office ( Department of Home Affairs ) .
SA Migration International is registered with FIPSA ( Forum of Immigration Practitioners ) and the Department of Home Affairs

Overstay / VLIST Ban Issued for 5 Years . There is hope !!

Overstay / VLIST Ban Issued for 5 Years . There is hope !!

Overstaying one’s visa is a common occurrence among people who applied to extend their visa in South Africa and said visa not issued in time for travel .
In recent months overstaying one visa has moved from being a minor inconvenience to a possible criminal offence with potentially serious ramifications. The changes brought about by the new immigration laws have made overstaying ones visa a very serious affair which needs a careful and smart approach to remedy.
Let us now explore the effect of overstaying ones visa and what steps to take to correct this now serious matter.
Effect of an overstay
An individual who remains the republic after his or her visa has expired is in violations of the Act. The immigration Act describe such individual as illegal Foreigners. Illegal foreigner are dealt with in terms of section 32 which provides:
32(1) any illegal foreigner shall depart, unless authorised to do so by the director general as well as any illegal foreigner shall be deported.
The seriousness of an overstay is clear from the section, anyone who is considered an illegal foreigner must be deported and there are no exceptions. In addition section 49(1(a) makes it a criminal offence to remain in the republic in contravention of the Act and on conviction the penalty is imprisonment for a period of not more than 2 years or a fine. In addition section 30(1) (h) renders one departing the republic on an expired status an undesirable.
Legalization of an Overstay
Section 32(10 read with regulation 30 provides for a mechanism to cure an overstay a potentially avoid any sanction for the overstay. This process is commonly referred to as legalisation and is given expression in the following section:
(a)Demonstrate, in writing ,to the satisfaction of the Director General that he or she was unable to apply for such status for reasons beyond his or her control and;
(b)Submit proof to the Director General that he or she is in a position to immediately submit his or her application for status.Reg 30(2) The Authorization to remain in the Republic as contemplated by section 32(1) of the Act shall be granted on Form 20….
In order to legalise an overstay 3 points must be complied with.
1.You must neither be arrested for purposes of deportation nor be ordered to leave. Both instances occur when you have been detected by Home affairs officials. Therefore you can only avail yourself to legalisation if you have not been detected by immigration enforcement officials.
2.Demonstrate in writing, commonly referred to a good cause. The applicant must demonstrate that the overstay was not intentional but a consequence of factors beyond the control of the applicant? It is not enough to simply overstay for no justifiable reason and approach the Director General where no good cause exists.
3.The applicant must show that he or she is in a position to submit his or her application for a status immediately upon being granted the authorisation.
Once the authorisation is given it will be issued to the applicant on a form 20. The applicant then uses the form 20 to apply for the visa.
If you require assistance with Uplifting the Overstay ban and or Legalization and have any questions on the topic please feel free to contact our offices for specialist advice.

There’s no policy to privatise ports of entry – Gigaba

There’s no policy to privatise ports of entry – Gigaba
The Citizen – 8.5.2018
He referred to Fireblade Aviation’s immigration services at OR Tambo International Airport, which it pays for, but says it gets other services for free.
Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba told members of parliament today that no approval policy has been established regarding the privatisation of sections of national ports of entry.
Gigaba was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the proposed privatisation of a section of the OR Tambo International Airport to Fireblade Aviation, as well as the possibility of privatising sections of Cape Town International Airport and the airport in George in the Southern Cape.
“If the minister had granted permission, the minister would have followed legal prescripts until the end. In the absence of such legal prescripts, we stand with our belief that there was no approval of this decision formally granted and the matter is really irrelevant.
“But the issue we are raising, as I say, is the matter of principle which applies to whether the poor are entitled to good quality service only after the rich have received them. To whether the laws of the country can be disregarded when the rich are concerned and whether the government should provide free services to the rich,” said the minister.
“When we say that there is no policy, we meant that it’s not the political argument, it’s a legal argument until there is a policy that guides, you can’t just decide because I have money, I will take these without policy being there.”
Gigaba further said that the cabinet was still dealing with the matter of rationalising the number of international airports that the country has. “Cabinet has taken a decision at our request as home affairs to rationalise the international airports because we have been complaining.
“For example, Upington is an international airport only in summer during hunting seasons and in winter during harvesting season. Nelson Mandela, is an international airport but who lands there?
“So if there is no soccer game, rugby game or international event, we have to provide immigration officers for an airport that is not utilised for such purpose. We need to rationalise the immigration officers and we have to increase our capacities,” he said.
In 2017, the OR Tambo international airport was seriously undercapacitated and home affairs’ view was that there was a need to rationalise the immigration capacity to provide services at the busy international airports where such services were required, added Gigaba.
“The matters went to court, we are appealing the matter in the Constitutional court, not to get to the merits of the case, but to just explain how we got to where we are. The court’s decision was in favour of the applicants. Our arguments, both in relation to the high court and the supreme court was that we have not been listened to, in terms of the merits of our arguments, but the matters were based on what we thought was peripheral and dismissable issues that served before the courts.”
He said that he had left the department of home affairs at the time when judgments were being made and appeals being made until his recent return in March. When the supreme court made its judgment around September, October last year in favour of applicants, “they then submitted a supplementary application to be allowed to operate the Fireblade, meanwhile pending a decision by home affairs to appeal or not”.
The permission was granted on condition that they (applicants) were going to pay for the immigration services and that had subsequently been done, said Gigaba, adding that only immigration services were being paid and all other government services were not being paid, “so meaning that government services were being provided to a private family for free as a result of the decision”.
– African News Agency (ANA)

Drive to Expand Australian Cyber Spy Powers

Drive to Expand Australian Cyber Spy Powers
Friday, May 4, 2018
Australia’s military cyber spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), could soon be receiving radical new espionage powers to monitor Australian citizens for the first time. If approved, the ASD may be able to secretly access the digital information of Australians including emails, health data, bank records, and text messages.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed a series of top secret letters exchanged between the heads of the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Defence discussing the plan to potentially allow government hackers to “proactively disrupt and covertly remove” onshore cyber threats by “hacking into our critical infrastructure.”
Currently, only ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have the powers to investigate Australians and they require a warrant to do so. Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that the proposed expansion was in response to the increasing sophistication of transnational criminal activity.
The proposed changes could grant the ASD powers to compel Australian companies and government agencies to hand over data or security information when requested. The expansion has been justified on the basis that traditional law enforcement lacks the technical capacity to fully identify, detect and disrupt systemic transnational Organised crime involving Australian citizens, and often relies on foreign law enforcement partners.
There is no need to panic just yet however, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop stating that there are no plans for the Government to expand the powers of the ASD as the laws already in place can target transnational crime while maintaining Australian’s privacy.