National Assembly, 12th April 2011
Home Affairs is a portfolio close to the
heart of the IFP, because of its leader Prince Mangosuthu
Buthelezi's successful tenure as Minister of Home Affairs from 1994
to 2004. We still contend that Prince Buthelezi's vision of placing
the civic administration of home affairs under municipal
jurisdiction and thereby leaving existing Home Affairs offices to
deal solely with migratory issues, would solve most, if not all of
the problems currently plaguing Home Affairs in terms of its service
delivery without negatively impacting upon the Department's budget
The recent increase in the cost of Identity
Documents by an incredible 700% from R20 to R140 and passports by
100% from R190 to R400 is ludicrous. These price increases are way
beyond the means of our poor and unemployed, and the fact that the
Department will issue every citizen with their first Identity book
free of charge does not assist those who are getting married,
divorced or who have had their ID books stolen or lost. The IFP is
of the opinion that these exorbitant price increases in ID documents
and passports must be immediately scrapped in favour of a more
affordable 20% increase.
Service delivery backlogs as well as crime
and corruption within the Department remain some of the biggest
concerns and the Department must adopt more vigorous measures and
strategies to effectively deal with this crisis that has become
endemic in the Department. We are pleased to see that the Department
has caught up on the backlog of permits for foreign nationals, which
this is a great step forward.
The "Who Am I" integrated IT system is a
step in the right direction to our outdated and obsolete legacy
systems. This system should provide the Department with the
necessary tools with which to expedite, track and control all
applications which should result in greater efficiency and service
delivery to both citizens and foreigners alike. The concern is that
the Department and the service provider are currently embroiled in a
dispute which we hope will be resolved shortly and at no extra cost
to the taxpayer.
Corruption remains and will continue to
remain a major problem within the department and the proposed
scrapping of section 49 of the Immigration Bill will only encourage
corruption within the Department. The IFP therefore urges the
Ministry to re-think the scrapping of the "Immigration Practitioner"
by the Department.
Our Refugee Reception Offices and in
particular the Lindela detention centre require infrastructural
builds, such as additional toilet facilities at the medical clinic,
which has only one existing toilet for both male and female persons.
This clinic saw 14568 persons during the period April to June 2010.
These are small and innocuous building
expenditures but are very necessary.
The Department should engage a countrywide
investigation as to the infrastructural capabilities and readiness
of all departmental buildings and in particular the Refugee offices
in order to ascertain whether or not they are sufficiently resourced
to deal with the large numbers of people that they are currently
having to service.
Huge backlogs of case appeals as well as
critical posts within the Refugee Offices being left vacant are some
of the challenges facing the Department and we trust these problems
will be resolved during the course of the year.
Overall, a corporate culture of transparency,
accountability and responsibility by Department employees must be
fostered by the Ministry and a tough line approach must be adopted
in cases where employees transgress these obligations. The recent
arrests at the Umgeni Road offices of corrupt officials will send a
clear message that corruption will not be tolerated and this in
itself is another big step forward in the fight against rampant
The challenges are there, but they are not
insurmountable Madame Minister, and the IFP wish you every success in
the coming year.
The IFP supports the vote.
I thank you.Contact:
Ms Helen Makhuba MP
073 268 3063