National Assembly: 14 April 2010
On behalf of the IFP, let me first welcome
the newly appointed Director-General, Mr Mkuseli Apleni. We look
forward to a good working relationship.
In order for the Department of Home Affairs
to fulfil it's civic functions of acting as the custodian of
citizenship and identity as well as being the regulator of
immigration, ports of entry and the promoter of international
relations it requires a very dedicated, efficient and competent
leadership and staffing contingent.
The IFP holds the department of Home Affairs
very close to its heart and takes a very active interest in its
development and management.
In the area of performance delivery we note
that the department has had a mixture of successes and failures with
target turnaround times regarding the issue and re-issue of identity
documents, birth, marriage, death certificates and passports. We
further note that it has set itself even higher turnaround goals for
the 2010/11 period. We hope that the department is not following an
"over promise and under deliver" strategy and caution it to rather
set incremental goals that are more readily achievable.
Another issue is the misinformation which is
being given to citizens when they interact with the Department,
which results in a citizen having to make five trips to the
departmental offices in order to obtain an identity document or
passport. This is unacceptable and its cause must be identified and
Praise however is in order for the
Department's call centre with its very efficient handling of public
queries and for its pro-active approach with the "Who am I" project,
which promotes the transition to a paperless working environment.
The issuing of identity documents at schools
is also a step in the right direction and should alleviate a great
deal of burden from the Home Affairs frontline offices. Pro-active
initiatives such as these will go a long way in assisting the
department with its performance delivery.
Currently the Department's major focus
should be on preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the sudden
influx of foreign tourists and football teams that will begin
entering our country within the next 57 days. We trust that the
Minister is prioritising the changes to the immigration procedures
as specified by FIFA, and that the football fans will have a problem
free entry and exit from South Africa. Another grave concern is the
increase in human trafficking that will occur around the World Cup.
Are all of our officials at our ports of entry properly trained to
identify and handle situations of this nature if and when they
Within the Department the IFP is very
concerned that the spectre of corruption and poor work ethic is
raising its head. This must be dealt with swiftly and decisively as
it eventually leads to total departmental dysfunction which impacts
negatively on the lives of our citizens, as they receive sub-standard
service in their departmental dealings, and we therefore urge
Minister Dlamini-Zuma to attend to this as a matter of urgency.
The Independent Electoral Commission, whilst
doing an admirable job with the elections, has still not remunerated
many election officers in rural areas for work done during last
years April election. This is unacceptable and must be rectified as
these election officers are amongst the most needy of our country.
We are facing local government elections in 2011 and do not want see
a repeat of this situation.
The smartcard ID system which was introduced
more than 10 years ago and approved by Cabinet in 2001 has yet to
materialise. Last year the Minister indicated that the Smart Card
process had been stopped, and admitted last month that National
Treasury has not given the Department any budget allocation for the
project this year. The Minister needs to provide clarity on this
These are but a few of the many challenges
that face Minister Dlamini-Zuma and her team during this year, it is
an extra-ordinary year in that we have the World Cup and a year in
which the Department will have to step-up it's game in order to
achieve the lofty goals which it has set for itself.
In conclusion, the IFP supports the vote.
I thank you.
Mrs Helen Makhuba MP
073 268 3063