ANC outlines plan for border control, undocumented immigrants

11 March 2019
JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) says it will deal decisively with illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country.
Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the ANC is committed to ensuring that foreign nationals received support in getting legal documentation.
The party’s security cluster said this on Sunday in a briefing at Luthuli House on security and stability.
But it has stressed that it’s not xenophobic.
Speaking on border control issues, Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele said the ANC was committed to ensuring that foreign nationals received support in getting legal documentation.
But he urged South Africans not to hire illegal immigrants because it worsens the problem.
“We’re not xenophobic. We welcome everyone to come through the front door, and exit using the door and not a window. That’s what we stand for, as ANC.”

‘Random’ password ‘ji32k7au4a83′ used in 141 data breaches

In another language, it’s not so random, or secure…
The password ‘ji32k7au4a83′ may look like a completely random set of numbers and letters, but that exact password has appeared in 141 data breaches.
The data breaches were catalogued by website Have I been Pwned, but the number due to the apparently random password was spotted by Gizmodo, which asked the obvious question: why were so many people using the same jumble of letters and numbers as a password?
Taking up this mystery, a hardware and software engineer from Berkeley called Robert Ou, challenged his Twitter followers to find the answer.
“Fun thing I learned today regarding secure passwords: the password ‘ji32k7au4a83′ looks like it’d be decently secure, right? But if you check e.g HIBP, it’s been seen over a hundred times. Challenge: explain why and how this happened and how this password might be guessed,” he tweeted.
The tweet proved quite popular as many took up the challenge and it wasn’t long before an answer was found. Taiwanese internet users decoded the answer, noting that on a Taiwanese keyboard with the Zhuyin Fuhao layout, the random assortment of numbers and letters spells out 我的密碼, or “wǒ de mìmǎ,” which in Mandarin, translates to “my password”.

On a Zhuyin Fuhao layout, typing the letter J and I will add to two add two of the symbols (ㄨ + ㄛ), which are displayed in the top right of the keys, but pronounced as u and o. From there the tone of the character has to be typed out, hence the 3. Simply put, Ji3 translates to “me” in English, but it’s switched to “my” after you add “2k7,” the next three characters in the password.
There is a slightly different system used by mainland China, which suggests that people using “ji32k7au4a83″ are mainly from Taiwan and while that password has shown up in 141 data breaches, “au4a83″ (password) has shown up 1,495 times.
“Password” came second in SplashData’s 2018 annual poll of the worst passwords, with “123456” coming out on top. Despite living in a world of biometric security, the traditional password hasn’t been completely ditched and worse, terribly simple ones are still widely used no matter the language.

US citizens will need to register to visit parts of Europe starting in 2021

US citizens visiting parts of Europe will need authorization from the European Union come 2021.

The EU announced last year it was creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System, or ETIAS, that will require “pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travellers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area.”
The Schengen Area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for up to 90 days without any sort of travel authorization. ETIAS will change that.

Visa-free travelers, including US citizens, will need to request ETIAS authorization before visiting the Schengen Area. They can complete an application and pay a service fee of 7 euros (about $8) online. The authorization is valid for three years.
“Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases,” the European Commission said in a statement.
The United States has a similar system called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA.

“We are aware of the European Union’s plan to implement its own travel information and authorization system, similar to the U.S. ESTA, to contribute to a more efficient management of the EU’s external borders and improve internal security,” a US State Department official said in a statement. “Each country has the right to determine its standards for entry.”
The official added that the “ETIAS authorization is not a visa.”
The United States won’t be the only country affected by the changes. From 2021, citizens from 60 countries will be required to apply for the ETIAS before entering the Schengen Area. Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel and Mauritius are among those countries.
The European Parliament agreed to establish ETIAS in July. At the time, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, indicated that the requirement was put in place for security reasons.

“The new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travelers,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders.”

Expect no bailout. . . as SA leader jets in

South African President Cyril Ramaphos aarrives in the country today to co-chair the Bi-
National Commission (BNC) with President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose administration is desperate for a cash injection to jump-start the country’s stuttering economy.

Those close to the South African presidency told the Daily News yesterday that Harare should not expect a bailout from its northern neighbour, which is facing a tricky election this year.

Ahead of the visit, South Africa’s minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu said ending sanctions against Zimbabwe will top Ramaphosa’s agenda.
Ramaphosa’s arrival comes hard on the heels of another high-profile visit by the President of Botswana Keabetswe Masisi, who signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Mnangagwa.Masisi disappointed his host by refusing to extend a $600 million loan to Zimbabwe, only providing $94 million for businesses in Botswana to invest in the troubled country.

In a statement, Pretoria said the two heads of State will review the bilateral cooperation between their countries as well as review progress made with the implementation of bilateral agreements.

“To date, the two countries have signed 45 agreements, which cover a wide range of fields, including trade and investment, health, labour, migration, defence, taxation, tourism, scientific and technological cooperation, water and environment,” reads part of the statement.

When Zimbabwe and South Africa last held the BNC they were led by Robert Mugabe and Jacob Zuma respectively but both men were pressured to resign before completion of their terms.

The men who succeeded them are bosom buddies and will be seeking to cement ties between their two countries.

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by a high-powered business delegation.

Several senior South African officials have been in the country since last week ahead of the structured BNC, first established in 2015.

Zimbabwe and South Africa share a lot in common from their liberation history, cultural linkages and the commonality of their people.
The neighbouring country keeps the largest number of Zimbabweans, estimated at over three million.Its companies are the biggest investors in Zimbabwe.

South Africa ranks as Zimbabwe’s second export destination after China (US$844 million), with exports into that country amounting to US$189 million.
The neighbouring country tops the list of imports origins at $2,01 billion, followed by China at $442 million, India ($149 million), Zambia ($133 million) and Hong Kong ($57,8 million).

The BNC comes as Zimbabwean businesses are fragile and in desperate need of protection in their recovery phase.

After countries such as China chose to keep their wallets closed after approaches from Harare, those in the corridors of power expect South Africa to give Zimbabwe the much-needed lift. But Zimbabwe also has a lot of work to do to convince that there has been adequate progress onaddressing its financial and governance delinquency challenges.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of Information Nick Mangwana said that the BNC comes on the heels of another engagement with Botswana is a vindication of their engagement policy. “We can’t be a country pushing for great relationships with countries afar when we have poor relations with those countries with which we share so much including borders,” he said. “Regarding MoUs or bailouts, let’s not be pre-emptive about the outcomes of the interactions between our countries’ leadership. Announcements will be made in their due season”.

Mangwana, however, said Zimbabwe is not in the business of receiving bailouts but seeks to have mutually beneficial relations with its neighbours, the nature of which will be revealed after negotiations have taken place.

Ibbo Mandaza, a political analyst, said the whole hullabaloo was about nothing.
He said: “These are routine meetings so it is nothing out of the ordinary.”
Another analyst, Stephen Chan, said Ramaphosa cannot be seen to be bailing out an unpopular regime in an election year. Chan said the Zimbabwean economy needs fundamental restructuring, not just a kick-start from its neighbour. “The South Africans have already made it clear they have not much to give. It’s Ramaphosa’s
election year. He can’t be seen by his voters to be giving billions to Zimbabwe when the South African economy itself needs a kick-start,” said Chan.

International Crisis Group consultant Piers Pigou said while Africa’s biggest economy may be in a position to help improve liquidity through the extension of credit facilities or even lend its weight to support efforts to build the refinancing necessary to cover debt arrears, South Africa has limited options and other priorities in terms of available funds.
“It provides an opportunity for Ramaphosa to see how best South Africa could help move reform and recovery options forward. But this requires Ramaphosa excavating the full picture, not a selective sanitised version of developments, as evidenced from minister Ncube’s recent reform progress report to the IMF,” said Pigou.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme believes it’s significant as South Africa said the visit is timely as Zimbabwe is in an economic and political bedlam.He said Ramaphosa is also likely to encourage dialogue to get a solution to the political logjam.
“He is likely to talk to both Mnangagwa and (Nelson) Chamisa. Whatever his intervention will be, at the end solutions to our problems are found from within.
“He is a neighbour; he can only recommend but will never solve our problems. We have to sort out our mess.”

Lawyer Obert Gutu said Ramaphosa’s visit to Zimbabwe is more important in more ways than one. “Ramaphosa is Mnangagwa’s ally. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that both leaders enjoy a cosy political relationship. Africa doesn’t want to be perceived as a puppet of either the West or the East. As such, solidarity amongst key African countries is crucial in modern international relations,” said Gutu

South African airports to get new e-gates – here’s what you need to know

The Department of Home Affairs says it will pilot new e-gates at a number of South African airports in 2019.
A spokesperson told BusinessTech that the gates will first be piloted at Cape Town International Airport and will form part of the implementation of the Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS).
He added that a further rollout will be done in a phased approach, with Oliver Tambo and King Shaka International airports to follow.
“The broad objective of the project is the facilitation of movement of low-risk travellers through a self-service solution, hence freeing capacity for the assessment of high-risk categories by an immigration officer,” the spokesperson said.
“In line with the risk-based approach to managing migration, the first phase will focus on South African passport holders (excluding minors).”
He added that the gates are being developed in terms of the Home Affairs White Paper on International Migration, as well as international civil aviation legislation.
Expected benefits of the project include:
• Reduced processing time at Immigration for low-risk travellers;
• Increased capacity to focus on higher-risk categories;
• Managing boarding time; and
• Improved customer satisfaction.
How it will work
For the e-gates pilot at Cape Town International Airport, South African passport holders travelling internationally will proceed to e-gates for self-service immigration clearance where the following would be performed:
• Biometric verification;
• Passport authenticity and validity checks;
• Checks against the BMCS risk engine; and
• The BMCS will record the movements of persons on the system after all system checks have been successfully performed.
Home Affairs said that the e-gates project will help address the key issue of traveller identification management, which is at the heart of secure and facilitated travel.

Home Affairs tells man to bring his dead mother if he wants a smart ID

A 45-year-old South African has been told that he must bring his dead mother to the Department of Home Affairs if he wants to get his smart ID.
When Robert Masuku tried to help his 18-year-old daughter get her ID last year at the Mamelodi Home Affairs office, he found out that the department has him registered as an illegal immigrant. Yet, he was born in Kudu, near Nelspruit, and has an ID book, according to a GroundUp report.
His green ID book shows he has been voting since 1994.
“It was a surprise that the smart ID card system failed to recognise me. I applied for my first ID in my stepfather’s surname and later changed it to my mother’s surname. There were no problems in the change of the surname,” Masuku said.
Home Affairs media manager David Hlabane confirmed that Masuku had been marked as an illegal immigrant. Asked by GroundUp what Masuku should do, Hlabane said he should go back to the office where he initially applied, taking along a list of documents, and make an appointment for an interview with an immigration officer.
“Masuku should submit to the initially offices he applied for the ID; DHA-9 application form (with full set of fingerprints for verification purposes); DHA-24 (late registration of birth form, with full details of parents); handwritten birth records (not Home Affairs print out); both parents’ identity document copies; hospital registration of birth registers (if applicable); immigration report (interview with immigration at nearest Home Affairs office); any other available documentation to prove South African citizenship; removal of markers forms; and house permit if available.”
“The outcome of this process will help determine whether or not he should be issued with a new [smart] ID,” said Hlabane.
But when Masuku went to the Mamelodi office on February 13, he was told at the front desk that he had to bring his mother. His mother died in 2008.
“I showed the officer my mother’s death certificate but he insisted he would like me to bring my mother. I asked to speak to the manager but was informed the manager was not available that day,” he said.
“I really do not know what to do.”

There’s no way SA will be allowed to fail’ – SA ambassador to Germany

There is no way SA will be allowed to fail, SA ambassador to Germany Stone Sizani said as he encouraged small businesses and key stakeholders of the tourism sector in their efforts to promote the country at a travel trade show which kicks off this week.
The ambassador was speaking at an event hosted by the SA embassy ahead of the 53rd edition Internationale Tourisms-Borse (ITB) world trade show, which starts on Wednesday in Berlin, Germany.
A total of 50 tourism products and services including small businesses and key stakeholders in SA’s tourism industry will showcase what the country has to offer at the trade show. About 10 000 exhibitors from 180 countries will be represented at ITB this year, which will run from March 6 to March 10, 2018.
“Talk to them and tell them SA is a very beautiful country to come to, SA is a beautiful country to work in, South Africa is the place of opportunities to make money,” Sizani told exhibitors.
As the ambassador Sizani said that team SA promotes South Africa as a safe place and which is beautiful and service orientated. “We also tell them service in SA is very good and available for free,” he said.
“I tell everyone everyday that SA is good.”
A total of 630 German companies operate in SA, and this number is growing with more knocking on SA’s door following the investment conference last year Sizani said. “There is no way SA will be allowed to fail.”
Speaking to journalists after his address, Sizani explained that having South Africans participate on a global platform like ITB was important to communicate the message that the country can sort out its problems.
“I believe SA is a place where if a common danger approaches us – despite our differences – we come together and join forces,” he said.
“Many other countries would have swept the problems we are experiencing under the carpet, we are not doing that,” Sizani added.
Similarly SA tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona encouraged exhibitors to “hold hands” and “deliver” because the tourism industry is competitive.
International tourist arrivals to SA grew by 1.8% in 2018 and reached 10.5 million. Ntshona said that the drought in Cape Town had significantly impacted the amount of tourist from Europe in the first six months of 2018, but the sector “fought back”.
Ntshona joked that in his state of the nation address President Cyril Ramaphosa, doubled his key performance targets – as the president set a target to grow tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030, and to have direct employees grow from 700 000 to 1.4 million.
“We need to keep an eye on the prize and put our best foot forward,” he said.