Budget vote media statement by Naledi Pandor MP, Minister of Home Affairs Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Cape Town, Thursday, 9 May 2013
Published: 09 May 2013
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us for this briefing ahead of our Budget Vote at 14h00.
As you know, Budget Votes are for Departments to account to Parliament about how they spent the public money allocated in the previous financial year as well as how they intend to use their financial disbursement in the year ahead.
In this regard, the Department of Home Affairs was allocated R6,7 billion for the 2013/14 financial year (R5,3 billion for the 2012/13 financial year).
National Population Registration Campaign
The National Population Registration Campaign drives our objective to secure and protect South African citizenship and identity.
To achieve this, the Department has prioritised the registration of babies within 30 days of birth. We will also be able to share this information with the broader government so that various departments are able to plan services accurately.
We have connected hospitals, clinics and other health care centres to the Department’s database. We will increase the reach of these services by adding online birth registration facilities in 40 health institutions. Through such initiatives we have seen the number of babies registered within 30 days increasing by 6% from 556 762 to 602 530 in the past year.
In the current financial year we will improve on our efforts to build the National Population Register by ensuring that all 16 year olds apply for and receive IDs.
An ID is a crucial document that enables you access to a range of services and opportunities. In 2014 it will be even more important as it will ensure that all eligible South Africans are able to cast their ballots in the country’s 5th national democratic elections.
The Department has since 2009 been engaged in a process of cleaning up its National Population Register and this included removing duplicate ID numbers. Having begun with almost half a million such cases, we now have only 20,000 cases left.
Today we will inform the National Assembly that we will invalidate duplicate IDs by December 2013.
Late Registration of Birth
Registering a South African national after 30 days of birth is referred to as the late registration of birth. One of the challenges we deal with on a daily basis is registering the births of adults who were not registered as babies and therefore do not have birth certificates. We will bring this process to an end by the 2015/16 financial year.
Bringing quality services to the people
The Department is committed to bringing quality services closer to the people and to increasing our rural footprint.
This year we aim to refurbish 23 offices around the country.
We have begun a process of modernising the Department’s technological infrastructure to ensure that systems are coherent while enabling real-time access to information. This will have the added benefit of ensuring we deal with fraud and corruption because we will be able to see immediately if someone is a repeat applicant for a service that has been denied.
Asylum-seeker applications – better management
We are pleased to report to Parliament that we have seen a sharp decrease in the number of asylum seeker applications. In 2009 we received 341,000 applications for asylum. This year we received 85 058 applications.
In the year ahead, the Department will improve its management of asylum seekers. We will be introducing a new high security form on which permits issued to asylum seekers will be printed.
We will also conclude the process of consultation with our SADC counterparts on a regional approach to the management of asylum seekers and refugees as well as economic migrants. This will entail the introduction of a SADC work-seeker permit.
Cessation of Refugee Status for Angolan refugees
We will implement a decision by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to bring to an end the process of granting refugee status to Angolan nationals. The civil war ended 11 years ago and Angola is on its way to taking its rightful place in the African and global family of nations.
Smart ID card
The Department will introduce the first smart identity document (ID) card to all first-time ID and re-issue applicants in the second quarter of this current financial year. It is a contactless card containing a microchip embedded with biometric security features. It has a life span of at least 10 years.
We are working towards achieving an unqualified audit from the Auditor-General for the 2014/15 financial year.
I thank you.