Notes for briefing to media by Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
8 Dec 2009
The Department of Home Affairs is proud to have been part of the successful planning and execution of the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw held in Cape Town last week. The 2010 FIFA World Cup draw served as both as a reaffirmation of South Africa’s readiness to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup and a celebration of the 32 teams that will participate in the FIFA 2010 World Cup. In this regard, we can say without fear of contradiction that we are indeed ready to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Once again we express our gratitude to FIFA and the peoples of the world who have placed their faith in our country and its peoples’ ability to host such a spectacular event on behalf of ourselves and indeed the entire African continent. In pursuance of this objective, Home Affairs is proud to have facilitated the smooth entry of the FIFA family and the 32 teams that participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw.
The final draw reflected the achievement of a milestone on the road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup both for the final 32 teams as well as our country as host nation. While welcoming all 32 teams on our shore, we were particularly proud to welcome among them the qualifying teams from Africa, who are vital to ensuring that the 2010 FIFA World Cup leaves a lasting legacy on the continent.
Let us together sustain our tireless efforts that have brought us to this point. We were proud of the spirit of Ubuntu reflected in our hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw and the display of the flair and efficiency that will indeed be the hallmark of our hosting of the world cup in 2010
In this regard as the Department of Home Affairs we facilitated the following:
Advance passenger processing (APP)
Advanced passenger processing system which allows us to bar undesirable elements from entering South Africa before boarding from various countries became operational on 23 November 2009 on the South African Airways daily flight SA191 from Mauritius to OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw.
Seventy-nine (79) percent of all airlines flying to South Africa are now signed up to advanced passenger processing.
Of these 31 airlines, 18 airlines have provided roll-out plans of which four have completed testing and have been certified as compliant (South African Airways (SAA), British Airways (BA), Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines). These became operational with effect from today, Tuesday, 8 December 2009 to January 2010.
Engagements are ongoing to have all airlines signed up prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup - the Department of Home Affairs continues to work with the Department of Transport and the airline associations to accelerate the process.
Advanced passenger processing will be expanded to include private flights as well and the crew of cargo flights and maritime travel, specifically passenger cruise liners
Our Operational Centre was up and running and functioning 24 hours per day, seven days a week to assist in unlocking logjams during the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw. All Operational Centre staff members have been trained and tested in the use of the advanced passenger processing system.
For the FIFA final draw in Cape Town this week, we deployed 55 volunteers at OR Tambo (25) and Cape Town international airports (30) in conjunction with the Local Organising Committee to assist FIFA delegates and dignitaries
Dedicated express lanes
For the FIFA final draw in Cape this week, we also successfully deployed the dedicated express lanes at Cape Town and OR Tambo international airports for the preferential processing of the FIFA delegates and dignitaries.
Airline liaison officers
The engagement with identified foreign countries for the deployment of airline liaison officers at identified high volume hubs is progressing well, with six of the eight identified countries having agreed to their deployment. This will allow for the validating of travel documents prior to passengers boarding flights to South Africa.
Joint border operations
Our engagement with our neighbouring countries for the establishment of joint border operations during the 2010 FIFA World Cup event is at an advanced stage and our first trial run is scheduled for Ficksburg Bridge (between Republic of South Africa and Lesotho) during December 2009.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw, we facilitated a number of visa exemptions that were available to accredited FIFA delegates upon producing letters of accreditation from FIFA. Such delegates were again pre-screened before being granted such visa exemptions. As part of this process we had also created a dedicated unit to assist in the fast-tracking of all permits and/or visa applications.
As a department, and as part of the overall government efforts to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure the smooth entry into our country by all FIFA delegates, guests and indeed the multitudes of soccer fans whose support is critical for the success of the world cup. We will not fail them.
2. Home Affairs service delivery
Our improved turnaround times for key enabling documents are being sustained. We are now consistently producing identity documents (IDs0 in 45 days or less and passports in 19 days. We can now also announce that we are starting to see significant improvement in the production times for key permits. Permanent residence permits are now being produced in around six months down from more than two years before and temporary residence permits are being produced in 30 days.
Electronic tracking system extended
Our electronic track and trace system for documents has now also been extended and now covers not only identity documents and passports, but also amendments, citizenship, and late registration of birth. This means that customers are now able to trace the status of their applications on all the above functions as well.
Permanent residence and temporary residence permit applications are about to be added to this list as we have just successfully concluded a pilot in this area. An added advantage of the extension of electronic tracking to all these documents is that it not only enhances the department’s ability to monitor production but also identifies fraudulent behaviour by our officials as we are able to link officials to the different steps in the production process.
3. Improving the efficiency of our front offices
The focus on improving the front office experience for our citizens continues. In conjunction with numerous surprise visits to ascertain the conditions first hand, a very definite effort is now being implemented to change the way our front offices operate. All our staff is now required to wear nametags to ensure the personal accountability of every official.
A countrywide process training programme is being rolled out at the moment to every single front office in the country to ensure that all processes are understood and applied in a uniform way. Our office refurbishment process is also continuing with just over 50 of our offices now completed. Next year will see a dedicated front office transformation project kick off that will aim to stamp out the entrenched culture of corruption, frequent errors on documents as well as rudeness and disrespect to the public.
We will also be prioritising certain front offices for reorientation and refocus. In this regard we will, as a blueprint, be looking to the way banks provide front office service. We have also as part of the anti-corruption crusade, suspended 28 officials of the Department of Home Affairs in the month of November 2009 alone.
National Births, Identity and Customary Marriages Registration campaign
The planning for a national campaign to ensure the registration of all births and marriages and the issuance of identity documents to all citizens at 16 years of age. The campaign design is now in its final stages and we will launch this country wide in January 2010.
The aim of the campaign is to consolidate a secure and credible national population register. In this regard, protecting the integrity of the birth certificate, as the main base document for identity in South Africa, is priority. It is crucial to do away with all processes that allow for fraudulent access to the South African identity. We aim to:
* Eradicate the late registration of birth backlog by end of February 2010
* Completely do away with the process of late birth registration by the end of 2010
* Ensure that all births are registered within 30 days by end of 2011
* Ensure that all customary marriages are registered end of 2010
* Ensure that all South Africans of 16 years and above are registered and issued with an identity document by the end of 2011
* Increase the number of health facilities (both public and private) with connectivity to the Department of Home Affairs services to 200 by the end of 2010.
4. Progress to date
* The department has thus far consulted with a number of stakeholders. These, among others, include national departments such as Health, Basic Education and Social Development.
* Draft memoranda of understanding (MOU) with departments of Health as well as Basic Education are at an advanced stage.
* We have developed an overall implementation plan for the campaign. This plan was presented and adopted by all managers on 25 - 26 November 2009.
* Stakeholder forums established in Sisonke and OR Tambo district municipalities. This will then be rolled out nationally to allow communities to be involved in delivery of the Department of Home Affairs services.
* Provinces are currently developing their localised plans which include the appointment of coordinators, communication strategies focussing on local areas, etc.
5. Festive season
Having entered the festive season, may I extend on behalf of our department, our Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba, the Director-General Mavuso Msimang and indeed on my own behalf my best wishes to all our citizenry during the Xmas and New Year period. We are humbled by the support we have received from the general public and members of the media, without whose support our efforts aimed at the fundamental transformation of our department will not succeed.
In this regard, we commit ourselves to continue to improve our service delivery mandate in line with our constitutional mandate to ensure all of our people throughout the length and breadth of our country receive quality service delivery from our department. We reach out in thought and prayer to all those families including the Skhumbuzo Mhlongo family who lost their loves ones during the year and commit ourselves to ensuring that there no recurrence of such acts now or in the future.
We extend our best wishes and speedy recovery for those in hospitals and in trauma expressing our wishes and hope that 2010 brings with it the best for them. We join our entire government in reiterating the central message of the festive season “Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive and critically continue to practice safe sex.
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
8 December 2009
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
8 Dec 2009
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