Transcript copy: Briefing to the media by Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni following presentation of department’s Annual Report to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
12 Oct 2011Welcome to ladies and gentlemen of the media. I hope you have managed to go through the copy of our Annual Report.
Let me begin by saying that as the Department of Home Affairs we are participating in the 12 outcomes of government through outcomes 3, 5 and 12 - All people in South Africa are and feel safe, building a skilled and capable workforce to support the new growth path and an efficient, effective and development orientated public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship. As you will recall, the Ministers had to sign performance agreements with the President.
In this regard, Minister Dlamini Zuma had to take into account the following issues - completion of all strategic information and identification projects within already defined budgets and timeframes, ensuring the registration of birth of all babies within 30 days of delivery, issuance of identity document (ID) documents to every South African 16 years and above, improving the turnaround time for all services, queuing times and unit cost per service, determining the maximum distance citizens have to travel for services, effective and efficient refugee management services and systems, contributing to the level of skills and general economic development in South Africa by realising a positive skills migration trend of around 50 000 migrants annually.
Based on this as a department we had to come up with our own outcomes and response to these priorities - we therefore came up with three outcomes: secured South African citizenship and identity, immigration managed securely and efficiently in the national interest including, economic, social and cultural development, and a service that is efficient, accessible and corrupt free.
We then had to come up with measurable outcomes or targets - for outcome number one -entry at birth should be the only point to the National Population Register, to review the regulatory framework to manage births, deaths and citizenship, to issue ID documents to all citizens 16 years and above, to secure processes and systems to combat fraud and corruption, to integrate key systems and upgrade Information Technology (IT) infrastructure for improved security and data management.
On outcome 2, to ensure the department effectively contributes to the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to implement an integrated immigration management system, to review the policy and regulatory framework to manage economic migrants and asylum seekers, to contribute towards and participate in establishing the Border Management Agency, to develop a framework for a risk based management approach.
On outcome 3, building a service that is efficient, accessible and corruption free, we had to develop leadership capacity and capability within the department, to ensure ethical conduct and a zero tolerance approach towards corruption, to achieve a clean audit report, to increase capacity to contribute towards the fight against cyber-crime, to develop and implement service delivery standards to improve operational efficiency, to ensure efficient, effective and accessible service delivery to clients.
So colleagues, what this means is that we have now had to say how have we moved as a department towards dealing with these issues.
We are really pleased to report that during this period we managed to register 960 031 babies within a year of which 400 524 were registered within 30 days and 440 507 were registered after 31 days. Also, with regard to the IDs, we were able to issue 724 533 IDs of which 425 774 were issued to applicants of 16 years and above and 228 795 to applicants turning 16 years of age.
This is the strategy the department wants to follow so that by the time young people get to the point where they are about to write their matric examinations, they have their IDs. We don’t want young people to be applying for IDs when they reach matric.
And as you are aware, as a department, in order to encourage an understanding of these issues and objectives, we have been using very innovative means to communicate. As you know, the Minister appeared twice on generations, and on a Pampers ad to encourage the registration of babies within 30 days of birth, the campaign was endorsed by the captains of Chiefs and Pirates during the Telkom Challenge and our former Deputy Minister talked to the nation during the Lotto broadcast.
All these initiatives were aimed at ensuring an understanding by South Africans that babies must be registered within 30 days of birth, as is required by law.
One of the major pillars for the department in terms of popularising its objectives was the launch of stakeholder forums. We were therefore able to launch 254 stakeholder forums in 90% of municipalities around the country. What is the purpose of these forums - its really to help the Department to monitor and improve Home Affairs services, to combat crime and corruption, but really to improve our services.
Questions and Answers
Question: Director-General, on the 55000 illegal foreign nationals deported last year - what were their nationalities?Is there a plan to document other groups of foreign nationals in South Africa?
Answer: (Director-General) The top five groups of nationalities were from Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. However, we are not targeting specific nationalities - any foreign national who is in South Africa illegally is deported.
On the documentation of other groups - the Minister is on record as saying that once we have finalised the Zimbabwe project we will be looking at extending it to other nationalities.But this can only be done when we have closed the Zimbabwe process and we hope this will be done by the end of October 2011. The Minister will then look at which country we should deal with next.
Question: Director-General, you mentioned that 108 corruption cases have been finalised - when will you be dealing with the rest?Can you shed more light on the youth forum?You also talked about improving the image of the department - you opened a new office in Wynberg a few weeks ago – is this the direction in which you will be moving?And how many more new offices will you be opening?
Answer: On the 108 cases, you must remember this was the status as at the end of March 2011. However the processes continue and as at September we continue to clear these cases.
As you know we were briefing you last month that 35 people had been arrested for fraud and corruption since the beginning of the year so we are dealing with this on an ongoing basis.
On the youth forum - what we looked at is the role youth in the services we render – the issue of registration of babies is something that affects our youth, the issuance of IDs to 16 year olds is something that affects our youth – so we wanted to collaborate within the department to ask what can our young people do to support this work?And how best we can deliver services to young people because young people can understand how young minds work – as you know we now have social forums like Twitter and Facebook, etc.
The youth also supported the Youth Day celebrations and even during preparations for elections earlier this year. The youth are really the lifeblood of the Department (Chief Financial Officer) With regards to the new look and feel of the Department - you will recall that the DG mentioned we refurbished 24 offices in the previous financial year. And we are ensuring that we implement this new look and feel with all new offices that we are opening.
In this current financial year we will be refurbishing 15 offices. We will continue like this until we have covered the majority of the offices.
Question: Director-General, what is your estimate on the number of foreign nationals who are in the country illegally but have not yet been deported? Do you have a handle on this situation? You said there were 960 000 babies registered within 30 days of birth - how many babies are not being registered within 30 days? How many people in South Africa have duplicate or fake IDs? What means are you using to track these people?
Answer: (Deputy Director-General Vusi Mkhize) Resolved duplicates for the year in question amount to 84500 - there are two kinds of duplicates - those citizens with more than one ID - this is illegal. People must only have one ID - and that is the most current ID. The most recent nullifies any other ID number that you had before. We find that people keep these different IDs and use them interchangeably. We are therefore doing everything possible to ensure that citizens have only one ID.
On the other issue - this refers to two or more people holding one ID number and as indicated by the DG this is what is bringing a great deal of misery to citizens. We are doing everything possible to ensure we resolve these cases.
On the scale of the problem - we have a challenge with tracing people - especially those who are sharing an ID number - we have just completed an audit in this regard and we have about 37000 that we are trying to track so we can resolve this situation.We are working very hard at this and the Department is using all means available to resolve this situation.We will soon be announcing a strategy to ensure we resolve these cases.
We must acknowledge that as a department we have the automated fingerprint system and this is amongst the highest in the world. We also have online verification. When we were translating manual fingerprints onto this system, we were able to identify duplicate cases and we were therefore able to block these ID numbers. In so doing, when people come to re-apply they are informed of the situation.
We are also working with different institutions like the Transunion institution where we are able to ascertain contact numbers for the clients we have identified as being part of this group of duplicate ID holders. We are also engaging with other institutions like local government.We also believe the Financial Intelligence Centre of South Africa (FICA) process will enable us to access to mobile services. We also have the intention of publishing these lists in newspapers - not with the ID numbers - but with names, dates of birth and perhaps localities in which they live.We will need to pay for these services so we are looking into this matter.
Question: Director-General, you said you want to close the Zimbabwe project by the end of October. There are still Zimbabwean nationals who have submitted all their documents but have not yet received their permits. What is going to happen?
Answer: (Director-General) You will recall we have informed the media that about 143 000 permits have been issued, leaving us with a balance of about 132 000. But these have already been pre-adjudicated. The process in which we are currently is to send smses to people that their applications have been adjudicated but we are still awaiting the outstanding documents.
We have managed to send all these smses but there is also a group of people we cannot contact. We are not sure if they have changed numbers or if they have left the country. We can finalise this project quickly especially once we receive the outstanding information. We are therefore confident we can bring this matter to a close by the end of October this year.
Department of Home Affairs
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Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
12 Oct 2011
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