Increase in traveller numbers expected at SA borders

December 27, 2018 – Zululand Observer
Minister Cwele will visit other ports of entry during this peak period to monitor service delivery
High traveller traffic volumes have been recorded across all the major border posts in South Africa since the beginning of the festive season.
The Department of Home Affairs said senior managers will remain at border posts to facilitate decision making which will enable travellers to transit quicker.
They appeal to travellers to carry the correct travel documents, which should be legible, when they travel.
More than 200 000 traveller movements were recorded at the Beit Bridge Border Post since the beginning of December.
This number is expected to increase with the approaching the New Year period.
The announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele, who concluded a successful monitoring visit last week to the border post between Musina in Limpopo and Zimbabwe.
Beit Bridge is the country’s busiest land port and most of the departmental staff has been deployed to manage the expected increases in traveller movements at the border post.
Minister Cwele was accompanied by Musina Mayor Cllr Mihloti Muhlophe, Musina Speaker Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu, Musina Chief Whip Cllr Fistos Mafela and other senior leaders.
The Minister and his delegation were briefed by Home Affairs, SA Revenue Service, SA Police Service, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Health, Department of Transport, Cross Border Road Transport Agency and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
‘I am happy with the operations I saw today at Beit Bridge and I’m confident that the measures we have put in place will assist to ease travel for visitors using this port.
‘We don’t want people to spend a lot of time here at the border whether they are departing or arriving,’ said Minister Cwele.
He said he was pleased with the cooperation amongst the different State agencies operating at the port.
‘We’ll continue to have increased capacity at this and all our other border posts until 09 January 2019.
‘We appeal to travellers to ensure that they have all the relevant supporting documents which should be legible and recently certified,’ said Cwele.
He will visit other ports of entry during this peak period to monitor service delivery and interact with visitors.
‘One of the biggest task of Home Affairs is to facilitate ease of travel at our ports of entry. This has a big impact on tourism, trade and investment.
‘This could ultimately improve economic growth.’

Security Union: new rules on reinforced Schengen Information System enter into force

EU Commission – Brussels, 28 December 2018
New rules to strengthen the Schengen Information System (SIS) – proposed by the Commission in December 2016 and adopted earlier this year – are entering into force today.
The SIS is Europe’s most widely used information sharing system for security and border management. Consulted over 5 billion times by national authorities in 2017, the upgraded database will help border guards to better monitor who is crossing the EU’s borders; support police and law enforcement in capturing dangerous criminals and terrorists; and offer greater protection for missing children and vulnerable adults, in line with the new data protection rules.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “We are closing a critical security gap today in the EU. Member States will have an obligation to introduce terrorism alerts into the reinforced Schengen Information System. Anyone posing a threat should not go unnoticed anymore: the interoperability of SIS with our other information systems on security, borders and migration in the near future will make sure that all the dots are properly connected on our radar screens.”
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: “The SIS is a key tool for security in the EU, allowing national authorities to catch criminals and terrorists all over Europe. The new obligation to create SIS alerts will help make Europe safer – especially when it comes to tackling terrorism – as part of our wider efforts to strengthen information sharing and make our information systems work together more effectively.”
As of today, new rules on alerts related to terrorism apply:
• Greater vigilance for terrorist offences: As of today, national authorities are obliged to create a SIS alert for all cases related to terrorist offences. By the end of 2019, Member States will also have to inform Europol of hits alerts linked to terrorism, which will help to connect the dots at the European level.
• Stronger data protection rules: The new rules have been brought into line with the new General Data Protection Regulation and the Police Directive on data protection.
A number of other new functionalities in the SIS will be implemented in phases, with a requirement for the system to be fully operational in Member States 3 years following entry into force of the legislation:
• New alerts on criminals and return decisions: The new rules will allow SIS alerts to be issued for unknown persons who are wanted in connection with a crime. In addition, a new alert category for “return decisions” has been introduced to improve the enforcement of return decisions issued to irregularly staying third-country nationals;
• Stronger provisions on missing children and people in need: National authorities will be able to issue preventive alerts on persons who are in need of protection, in addition to existing alerts on missing persons;
• Enforcement of entry bans: It will be now compulsory to insert into SIS any entry bans issued to third-country nationals preventing them from entering the Schengen area;
In his 2016 State of the Union Address, President Juncker highlighted the importance of overcoming the current shortcomings in data management and of improving the interoperability of existing information systems. A strengthened Schengen Information System (SIS) is one of the foundations of this work.
As a result of a comprehensive evaluation of the SIS carried out in 2016, some areas were identified where operational and technical improvements could be made. The legislative proposals presented by the Commission in December 2016 implemented the recommendations set out in this evaluation report as well as the commitment made by President Juncker in his 2016 State of the Union Address. Co-legislators adopted the Commission proposals in November 2018.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale, centralised information system that supports checks at the external Schengen borders and improves law enforcement and judicial cooperation in 30 countries throughout Europe. It currently contains around 79 million records, and was consulted 5 billion times in 2017. The SIS notably provides information on individuals who do not have the right to enter or stay in the Schengen area, persons sought in relation to criminal activities and missing persons, as well as details of certain lost or stolen objects (for example cars, firearms, boats and identity documents) and data that is needed to locate a person and confirm their identity.

South African Business Visa

A business visa may be issued by the Department of Home Affairs to a foreigner intending to establish or invest in a business in South Africa in which he or she may be employed, and to members of such foreigners’ immediate family providing that certain requirements have been met.
The Act calls for investment of R5,0 million in a business and you need to make sure you employ 60% South African citizens or permanent residents to get both a temporary and permanent business visa, you can get these visas with less capital investment – sometimes for as low as R600,000 investment using our expert team at SA Migration.
Many businesses do not require a capital investment as large as R5 million and in certain cases, you are allowed to reduce this amount and commit to a smaller investment if your business falls within the certain industries. The following businesses to be in the national interest, and therefore qualifying for reduction or waiver of the capitalisation requirements as determined to be in the national interest in relation to a Business Visa: Many of these business owners do not have the required investment amounts. If this is the case and the business falls in line with one of the following industries, a capital waiver can be requested. This would mean a reduction in the required investment amount.
The industries are:
(a) Agro-processing
Fisheries and aquaculture i.e. freshwater aquaculture and marine culture
Food processing in the milling and baking industries
Beverages viz. fruit juices and the local beneficiation, packaging and export of indigenous teas
High value natural fibres viz., organic cotton and downstream mohair production
High value organic food for the local and export market
Biofuels production viz. bioethanol and biogas
oils: tea extracts, including buchu, honeybush: and other oil derivatives (avocado, amarula etc.)
Diversification / beneficiation of biomass sources i.e. sugar, maize
(b) Business Process Outsourcing and IT Enabled Services
Call centers
Back Office Processing
Shared Corporate Services
Enterprise solutions e.g. fleet management and asset management
Legal process outsourcing
(c) Capital / Transport equipment, metals and electrical machinery and apparatus
Basic iron and steel
Basic precious and non-ferrous metals
Casting of metals
Other fabricated metal products: metalwork service activities
General purpose machinery
Tooling manufacturing
Tooling manufacturing
White goods and associated components
Electric motors, generators and transformers
Electricity distribution and control apparatus
Insulated wire and cable
Accumulators, primary cells and primary batteries
(d) Electro Technical
Advanced telecommunications
Software development
Software and mobile applications
Smart metering
Embedded software
Radio frequency identifications
Digital TV and Set Top Boxes due to migration to full digital television
Process control, measurement and instrumentation
Security and monitoring solutions
Financial software
Manufacturing sensors
(e) Textile, Clothing and Leather
Spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles
Knitted and crocheted fabrics and articles
Wearing apparel except fur apparel
Dressing and dying of fur
Leather skins and hides beneficiation
(f) Consumer goods
White goods and associated components
(g) Boatbuilding
Boatbuilding and associated services industry
Engines and engine systems
Marine equipment and accessories
(h) Pulp, paper and Furniture
Manufacture of paper products: publishing, printing and reproduction
Manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials
Paper and paper products and furniture
Manufacture of wood and products of wood and cork
(i) Automotives and Components
engines, radiators, filters and components thereof
air conditioners / climate control systems
alarms and Tracking devices
axles, transmission shafts
body parts and panels
catalytic converters, silencers and exhaust systems and components
wiring harnesses, instrument panels vehicle interiors, electronic drive train components,
lighting equipment
seats and parts thereof, seatbelts, leather covers
suspension and shock absorbers, springs and parts thereof
steering wheels, columns and boxes
ignition, starting equipment, gauges and instrument parts
(J) Green Economy Industries
(jj) Power generation:
Nuclear Build Programmer i.e. joint ventures, consortiums and the establishment of new companies to grow South Africa’s nuclear manufacturing capability and nuclear supply industry to supply into the nuclear build programme
Independent power generation, energy infrastructure and alternative energy
(jjj) Renewable Energy:
Onshore wind power – manufacture of turbines/blades
Solar PV and Concentrated Solar Power manufacture/assembly
Small hydro
Lowering greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites
Energy efficiency and energy saving industries
Solar water heaters
Waste Management and Recycling
Reducing landfill
(k) Advanced Manufacturing
High performance materials based on natural resources (advanced bio-composites
Advanced materials, polymers and composites
Medical devices, diagnostics and composites
Space e.g. satellite manufacturers etc. and astronomy e.g. SKA, telescopes, dishes etc.
Composites (intelligent textiles used in medical, building and construction industries)
Continuous fibre reinforced thermoform composites
Biochemical and biologics for applications in agriculture, industry and health/medical sectors
Electricity demand Site Management Solutions to improve electricity efficiency usage
Lasers and laser-based additive manufacturing various applications
Advanced Robotics Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems
Applications in the mining industry, data collection and analysis
Bio – manufacturing – Biochemical and biologics for applications in agriculture, industry and health/medical.
Fuel cells and Technology
(l) Tourism infrastructure
Accommodation – hotels, boutique hotels, lodges and resorts
urban integrated tourism/ entertainment precincts
adventure, – eco-, sport-, conference- and cultural tourism
infrastructure developments
leisure complexes and world class golf courses
harbour and waterfront developments
trans frontier conservations areas
Tourism transport – aviation, rail, cruise liners etc
green building and green technologies for tourism
attractions and activity – based tourism.
museums and heritage
(m) Chemicals, plastic fabrication and pharmaceuticals
basic chemicals
water treatment chemical products
man-made fibres
plastic products: polypropylene and polyvinculchloride
medical (drips and syringes), manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredient
(APIs) for key anti-retrovirals (ARVs)
Manufacture of reagents for AIDS/HIV diagnostics
Production of vaccines and biological medicines
(n) Creative and Design Industry
Film studios, treaty film co-production ventures, distribution infrastructure
Servicing of foreign productions
Production of film and documentaries, commercials, stills photography and
Jewellery manufacturing and design
Fashion design
(o) Oil and Gas
Maintenance ship and rig repair
Fabrication – equipment and specialised components
Specialised services – training and accreditation
Specialised services – non-descriptive testing, inspection services, SHEQ services
Exploration – technical services: seismic surveys, logging, environmental impact assessments, etc
Exploration – offshore
Exploration – onshore shale gas
Exploration – onshore coal bed methane and underground coal gasification
Infrastructure – refineries (Oil and GTL)
Infrastructure – terminals LPG/LNG import, storage and distribution
Infrastructure – ports and associated infrastructure
Infrastructure – storage
Logistics – pipeline
(p) Mineral beneficiation
Downstream processing and value addition
(q) Infrastructure Development
(r) ICT
Geoamatics and Digital media
Wireless and Telecom
Software Development
Advanced programming
List of undesirable Business in South Africa;
Businesses that import second hand motor vehicles into the Republic of South Africa for the purpose of exporting to other markets outside the Republic of South Africa
The exotic entertainment industry
Security Industry
Our team of professionals at SA Migration International will assist you and help you to obtain your business visa for you.

India authorizes 10 agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt citizens’ data

December 21, 2018 – ZD Net
Order sparks outrage in India with citizens, privacy advocates, and political opponents accusing the government of trying to establish a “surveillance state.”
On Thursday, the Indian government gave ten agencies the legal authority “to intercept, monitor or decrypt information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.”
The order, approved on December 20 by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, is an expansion of India’s IT Act of 2000 and effectively gives the Indian government the legal power to snoop on all its citizens’ Internet traffic, and the authority to request access to any encrypted information.
Individuals and entities who don’t comply with requests to intercept, monitor, or access citizens’ data face up to seven years in prison or a fine.
The ten agencies authorized to intercept or request access to user data under the new order are:
• the Intelligence Bureau
• the Narcotics Control Bureau
• the Enforcement Directorate
• the Central Board of Direct Taxes
• the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
• the Central Bureau of Investigation
• the National Investigation Agency
• the Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW)
• the Commissioner of Delhi Police, and
• the Directorate of Signal Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East, and Assam only)
The order sparked outrage in India, among citizens, privacy watchdogs, and opposing political parties, who called it a stepping stone towards an Indian surveillance state.
The same rhetoric heard in all countries where similar surveillance laws exist, or governments tried passing a surveillance law, were also heard from the Delhi government today.
Government officials argued that the order expanding India’s IT Act was needed for national security, to maintain public order, and to deal with foreign government interventions.
To calm some of the rumors swirling online, the Ministry of Home Affairs also issued a clarification today, explaining that any interception, monitoring, or data decryption will be “done as per due process of law” with approval from the Union Home Secretary. The ministry also said that adequate safeguards against abuse exist under both the IT and Telegraph Acts.
“Every individual case will continue to require prior approval of Home ministry or state government,” the government said. “MHA has not delegated its powers to any law enforcement or security agency.”
The order is expected to be challenged in court as unconstitutional.

Missed appointment not enough to refuse refugee asylum – court judgment

2018-12-19 News 24

A man whose father fled Burundi during political turmoil and genocide there in 1994, has been given a fresh start at applying for asylum in South Africa after he was embroiled in a dispute with authorities for about a decade over a missed appointment.
Although Western Cape High Court Judge Ashley Binns-Ward felt it was not up to him to decide whether Alexis Kalisa could stay in SA or not, he referred Kalisa’s matter back to the Refugee Appeal Board so that his asylum application could be determined afresh.
Kalisa’s travails began in 1994 when his parents fled Burundi for neighbouring Rwanda during a time of extreme turmoil in the region, following the death of the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda in a plane crash and severe conflict between Hutus and Tutsis.
The judgment noted that Kalisa’s father was being persecuted in Burundi because of his affiliation to a political grouping known as the “Union pour le Progres National” (the Union for National Progress).
Kalisa’s family lived from “hand to mouth” in Rwanda and he joined or aligned himself with an opposition political movement there.
In 2005, at the age of 18, he left Rwanda for South Africa and applied for asylum.
It was refused by the refugee status determination officer at the refugee reception centre in Port Elizabeth in 2007.
He lodged an appeal against the decision to the Refugee Appeal Board but skipped the appointment in 2008. As a result, his bid failed.
In the judgment, it emerged that Kalisa moved to Cape Town and in a wave of xenophobic violence in 2008, found himself living at a temporary site for foreign nationals set up at the Youngsfield Military Base in Cape Town.
While there, he was encouraged to regularise his presence in South Africa and on the insistence of the Department of Home Affairs, submitted a fresh application for asylum in 2008.
After the violence subsided and he could go back to work, he periodically had his asylum-seeker permit extended.
But in August 2017 he was told that because his previous appeal to the Refugee Appeal Board had been unsuccessful, he had to leave South Africa.
He took the matter to court where the law clinic had argued that it would be inhumane to separate the family.
Binns-Ward found that authorities were supposed to consider the merits of the matter whether he was present or not, instead of turning him down because he failed to turn up for the hearing.
The court provided a strict timeline for Alexis Kalisa, the Department of Home Affairs, and lawyers from the University of Cape Town’s Refugee Law Clinic, which represented him, to adhere to.
The judge’s orders include that the 2008 decision of the Refugee Appeal Board dated April 3, 2008 rejecting his application for asylum be set aside and that the matter be sent to the authorities for a fresh start.
While this is being dealt with, the validity of Kalisa’s permit must be extended, the court ordered.
In the meantime, Kalisa has made a life for himself in South Africa with two children and his partner, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

ConCourt rules Refugees Act doesn’t place time limitation on asylum applications

2018-12-20 – News24

The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that the Refugees Act does not place a time limit on when asylum seekers must apply for asylum once they have arrived in South Africa.
The apex court was considering the constitutionality of the Refugees Act after Alex Ruta, a Rwandan national who entered the country unlawfully in December 2014, applied to have a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling overturned.
“At issue was whether a prospective asylum seeker should be allowed to apply for asylum at any time they might express an intention to do so after arriving in the country, even if they have delayed,” the Constitutional Court explained in a statement on Thursday.
Ruta initially approached the High Court when the Department of Home Affairs moved to deport him after he was convicted and imprisoned for traffic violations. He was undocumented when he was first arrested in March 2016.
Ruta fought back by formally applying for asylum under the Refugees Act, citing that his life would be in danger if he returned to Rwanda. This application was denied by the minister of home affairs as Ruta had taken “too long to do so”.
“With his deportation imminent, Mr Ruta applied to the High Court for an order interdicting his deportation and granting his release so he could apply for asylum under the Refugees Act,” the Constitutional Court noted in its ruling.
The High Court granted this order.
The home affairs ministry headed to the SCA arguing that Ruta had failed to apply for asylum without delay. The SCA reversed the High Court judgment in favour of Ruta.
The SCA, in addition, also found that Ruta was disqualified from receiving a refugee permit as he had been convicted of a crime and was in contravention of the Immigration Act when he entered the country unlawfully.
In a unanimous judgment, Justice Edwin Cameron overturned the SCA ruling stating that the Refugees Act is clear that delay does not disqualify Ruta from seeking asylum.
“The only grounds on which an application may be refused are those set out in the Refugees Act itself.
“The Refugees Act embodies a fundamental principle under international law – in terms of which one fleeing persecution has the right to seek and enjoy asylum. This principle is the cornerstone of refugee law and a significant doctrine of human rights law,” the Constitutional Court ruled.

UK Visa situation and Theresa May not providing full details

It’s been a turbulent two years for UK Prime Minister, Theresa May as she attempts to secure a deal for Britain’s exit from the EU. This also affects the UK visa situation. However, in a recent twist, the Prime Minister called off an MPs’ vote on her Brexit deal, with a view to going back to the European Parliament and asking for changes.
Sanwar Ali comment:
Assuming it actually happens there is little more than three months to go until Brexit occurs at 11pm on 29 March 2019. There are currently huge problems. It seems that Parliament will not accept the proposed agreement with the EU. The EU is unwilling to change the agreement. A no-deal Brexit or a second referendum seems increasingly likely.
If Brexit does occur then there should be a major overhaul of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 visa system.
In a recent open letter to the nation, UK Prime Minister Theresa May had laid out her vision for a post-Brexit Britain. In the letter, Mrs May clearly addresses the issue of UK immigration. However, many commentators believe that she is not telling the full story.
In the letter, Mrs May wrote: “We will take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all. Instead of a UK immigration system based on where a person comes from, we will build one based on the skills and talents a person has to offer.”
UK Visa and EU freedom of movement
Interestingly, according to some commentators, Mrs May’s comments are quite extraordinary. In particular, her remarks about ‘putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all’ has raised certain questions.
An opinion piece written by Georgina Lee for Channel 4, points out that Britain has had several opportunities in the past to restrict the freedom of movement from the EU. She asks the question… why didn’t Britain take those opportunities?
Britain could have limited freedom of movement from the EU in 2004, when the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the trade bloc. In 2007, when Bulgaria and Romania joined, free movement could have been restricted then, and again in 2013 when Croatia joined the EU.
Restricting the right of EU citizens
Immigration rhetoric implies that Britain has been unable to control the arrival of EU citizens living and working in the UK. However, the UK had the opportunity to restrict the rights of citizens from new EU member states, to working in Britain for up to seven years, after which time EU citizens from those countries would have to leave the UK.
However, Britain was one of only three nations, alongside Ireland and Sweden not to restrict the rights of EU citizens from new, EU member states.

Non-EU migrants and Visit visas
Meanwhile, commentators claim that Mrs May’s comments imply that non-EU nationals are treated equally concerning UK visa entry, irrespective of their nationality. However, commentators argue that the Prime Minister’s remarks are misleading.
Some foreign nationals from non-EU countries visiting the UK, must have applied in advance for a UK visa, except if they’re travelling from one of 56, visa exempt countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the USA. Nationals from UK visa exempt countries can enter and remain in the country for up to six months as visitors.
However, nationals from non-visa exempt countries such as China, India, Pakistan and South Africa, face tougher UK immigration rules if visiting the UK, highlighting that the current UK immigration system does discriminate based on where a person comes from.
UK immigration system should be equal for all
Commentators claim that the UK, if it wanted to, could operate an immigration system that grants citizens of all nations the same terms of entry to the UK as currently granted to EU citizens, once Brexit happens. This would make the immigration system equal for all.
However, commentators say that while this is legally possible, it’s unlikely because of political reasons.
Ultimately, commentators consider that the language used in Mrs May’s letter is misleading, especially around the issue of freedom of movement.
May’s remarks suggest that the UK has had very little control over people entering the country from the EU. In fact Britain, including once under a Conservative government, had the opportunity to restrict the free movement of citizens from 11 EU member states on three separate occasions but decided not to.
Further information, help, and advice on UK visa applications has been in the immigration services business for thirty years, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. We work under Section 84 of the 1999 immigration act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.