Home Affairs confident it will deal with internal corruption, long queues

Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Department of Home Affairs believes it is effectively dealing with corruption in its internal affairs and is eliminating the long queues citizens experience throughout the country.

Presenting his department’s annual performance plan to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, the department’s Director-General (DG), Livhuwani Mkhode, said the recent dismissal of two senior managers is a sign that the department is on the right path to effectively deal with corrupt officials.

While welcoming the dismissals, members of the portfolio committee cautioned that more must be done.

“They requested that the department produces and presents a clear and implementable plan to eradicate corruption within the department,” the committee said.

Members of the committee also asked the department to deal more efficiently with long queues at their provincial, district, local and border crossing offices.

Committee chairperson Mosa Chabane told the department’s delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, that Members of Parliament were aware of what was happening on the ground.

“We represent the citizens and know that queues are still prevalent throughout the country,” said Chabane.

Nzuza supported the DG’s report that the department did not only focus on major cities but was biased towards rural communities.

He assured the committee that they are constitutionally bound to serve all South Africans, no matter where they live.

He said they are not only focusing on affluent cities and that they are actively prioritising the provision of services to remote rural communities.

To this end, Nzuza said that the department had prioritised the establishment of new, modernised offices for areas like Umthatha, KwaDukuza and Lusikisiki.

In addition, office managers have been appointed at most offices throughout the country.

The committee also heard that offices, like the one in East London, amended their working hours to accommodate the demands of the people who live in the area.

Nzuza reiterated the department’s commitment to reducing the backlog for permanent and temporary residency permits.

The department confirmed that 99% of invoices received are paid within the allocated 30-day period and committed to providing the committee with documented evidence.

2024 Elections

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which also attended the meeting, informed the committee that it is ready for the 2024 General Elections.

It also announced it will embark on an extensive educational campaign to reach all South Africans in the run-up to the election.

The committee was informed that two registration weekends are scheduled to provide unregistered citizens with an opportunity to register and participate in the elections.

“Citizens are encouraged to visit the IEC website to see if they are registered and where,” the IEC said.

The IEC also requested the committee to ensure the Political Party Funding Act is amended to bring independent candidates within the scope of the Bill.

Committee members also welcomed the presentations made by the Border Management Authority, the Government Printing Works and National Treasury in relation to their cooperation with the Department of Home Affairs and the IEC.

Chabane welcomed the overall progress reported to the committee, and assured the Deputy Minister that the committee is committed to ensuring the smooth functioning of all stakeholders under its watch. – SAnews.gov.za