Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s Budget Speech, National Assembly, Cape Town
25 Apr 2012
Your Excellency President Jacob Zuma
Your Excellency, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
Honourable Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Maggie Maunye
Honourable members of the National Assembly
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan
Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission Advocate Pansy Tlakula
Chairperson of the Films and Publications Board Thoko Mpumlwana
CEO of the Government Printing Works Dr Tony Mbewu
Fellow South Africans
We arrived yesterday from an official visit to Egypt.Amongst others, we participated in a seminar to celebrate the Centenary of the African National Congress, co-hosted by the Foreign Ministry of Egypt, African Society and our Embassy in Cairo.
As we salute our people in the length and breadth of our country and those in the continent and the world for their role in the liberation struggle, we must ask ourselves a question why would they be proud to celebrate our history and the Centenary?
We can say without fear of contradiction that it is because our liberation struggle has produced much of the value and lessons that is relevant to many people across the world.South Africa needs to draw on the same values and lessons as they speak directly to the challenges we confront in the country in general and the Department of Home Affairs in particular.
These values were embodied in the men, women and youth who fought for freedom, peace and justice.
What motivated these compatriots was none other than a deep sense of love for their people, the country and humanity as a whole and a willingness to sacrifice to achieve a united, non-racial and non-sexist democratic South Africa in which justice and equality would prevail.
They served with humility and discipline with honesty, integrity, loyalty, unwavering patriotism, unshakeable unity and respect.We must also pay tribute and celebrate all the women who gave birth, nurtured and shaped these gallant revolutionaries.We express our gratitude to all the support and solidarity we received from our brothers and sisters in the Continent and the people of the world.
We join the rest of our people in solemn memory of Solomon Mahlangu and Chris Hani who were executed and assassinated respectively during this month of April in 1979 and 1993 and whose blood helped nourish the tree of freedom whose fruit we enjoy today.At the same time we celebrate the birth of others like Charlotte Maxeke, born in April, who was part of the 1912 formation of the ANC at the Weslyan Church in Mangaung. Indeed, we owe our liberation to both the mothers and fathers of the nation.
One of the most prominent and resisted symbols of apartheid, which was the cornerstone of oppression, control, discrimination and humiliation and touched all our lives, was the pass law, which forced every black person to carry what became known as a dompass.
The liberation movement was not just about fighting for people’s right to vote, but for all South Africans to live in dignity, security and prosperity.
Ours is a vision of one country, one identity and indeed one citizenship. I am certain that some among us may have visited the display in the precinct of parliament where we are demonstrating a sample of the new Smart ID card and which was also demonstrated to Cabinet this morning. We are privileged to announce that we will be piloting this new Smart ID Card this year and rolling it to the citizenry from next year. Accordingly the theme of our address this year is “From dompas to Smart ID Card”.
The revulsion against the pass laws was also compounded by the way people were treated at the offices that issued the dompass.The humiliation began at this point, even before you carried the pass.
To enable our people to enjoy the fruits of liberation and make them feel that indeed, they are moving from the dompass to the ID and eventually to the Smart Card.We need officials who have the same patriotic love for their people and country, and a willingness to make sacrifices in the humble service of the people who serve with respect, honesty, dedication and discipline.
Sacrifice in our context is not about the sacrifice of life or limb but it may mean small but significant acts like understanding that a citizen may have travelled a long way to arrive at our offices and whether it is lunch time, tea time or home time, we must provide the service in a way that respects and enhances the dignity and meets the needs of our people.No one should return home without having received a service.At Home Affairs we must draw from the lessons of the struggle and perform our duties which are a deep sense of love of our people, discipline, dedication, respect, honesty and integrity.
By definition, freedom in the Home Affairs context, means changing not only to the Smart Card which will be produced in house by Government Printing Works, but also a smart, efficient and compassionate service.
In this regard, we engaged last week with the broad management of the Department on how we can achieve this type of smart service and drawing inspiration from our history we signed a pledge to be patriotic, caring, professional and vigilant in the humble service of our people. These are the values that drive the transformation of Home Affairs and ensure that we impact positively on the lives of all South Africans.
We shall do this in gratitude of the role played by millions of women against pass laws in particular, and the struggle in general.
From the earliest protest in 1913, we recall the deep and simple courage, of amongst, Mrs AS Gabashane, Mrs Kotsi, Mrs Louw, Lilian Ngoyi, Sophie de Bruyn, Helen Joseph, Amina Cachalia, Bertha Gxowa, Dorothy Nyembe, Ruth Mompati, Charlotte Maxeke, Adelaide Tambo, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Gertrude Shope, Sarah Carneson, Blanche Laguma, Agnes Msimang, Mama Sanie Konyana, one of the organisers of the 1957 Zeerust march who turned 106 years this month, as well as Ellen Lambert who sadly passed away this month and for whom we dip our banners in solemn memory, and many more.
The new Smart Card is a key element in the National Identity System that will replace the current civic and immigration identity systems. The National Identity System will enable us to digitally capture biometric and biographical details of all South Africans or foreign nationals, which will be stored in one integrated system. The system will be linked to systems for movement control, permitting as well as asylum seeker and refugee management.
Internationally, the trend is towards establishing integrated identity systems that can enable faster, accessible, more efficient and secure services across government and the private sector. In the same context, working together with SABRIC, we launched the Online Fingerprint Verification System that enables banks to access Home Affairs fingerprint system (HANIS) to verify the identity of their clients.However, systems are there to help create an enabling environment to meet the needs of the people.
As Home Affairs, who have signed a pledge we would like the public to also take their responsibility and to register the birth of their children within 30 days, according to the law.We remind the public that in not doing so, we are actually breaking the law.Let us all be law abiding citizens.We also encourage young people to apply for their IDs when they turn 16 years old.
At the same time, we would like to express our appreciation for the 556 762 citizens who registered their children within 30 days of birth.This represents almost 51% of the total number of new born children.This means that 49% of the population has broken the law by not registering their babies.We hope that increasingly more people abide by law and register their babies within 30 days of birth.
The schools project continued during the 2011/12 financial year to ensure all children turning 16 years of age and especially matriculants were issued with IDs. A total of 48 624 ID applications were taken in during visits to schools. A total number of 2 266 461 IDs (first and re-issues) were issued in 2011/12.We are pleased to report that for the second year running there were more first-time issues of IDs than re-issues. This indicates that South Africans are valuing their identity and taking care of their documents. We will continue to work closely with Stakeholder Forums and reach out to those without IDs, particularly in remote areas, farms and institutions.
Access to our services was improved through the opening of four new offices in rural areas, the refurbishment of nineteen offices during 2011/12 and the deployment of our mobile offices in support of key government programmes.In a related matter, we recognise that the issue of duplicate IDs continues to cause grief to our people.
These make it impossible for citizens to engage in business, financial and economic transactions, further their educational studies, access social grants and other government services. We share in their pain and commit ourselves to ensure we can speedily address these challenges. We will do everything in our power to address the plight of these people including publishing their names in the mainstream media.
The past financial year witnessed further advances made in government’s national efforts, co-ordinated by the Justice Crime Prevention and Security cluster, to deal a decisive blow to the scourge of fraud and corruption.
We are pleased that the 350 new immigration officers, laterally transferred from the SANDF, and trained by Cuban and South African instructors and now deployed are rendering an excellent service at OR Tambo International Airport.
We have also introduced a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) approved course for the retraining and reskilling of all Home Affairs officials so they may be conversant with all aspects of the department’s work and we are equally happy that there are more than 250 who currently on this course.
In 2009 we committed ourselves to ensuring we put in place governance structures to ensure we manage public finances efficiently. In this regard, the Auditor-General found it fit and proper to issue an unqualified audit opinion on the Department’s finances- the first in 16 years since the advent of democracy.In the same breadth, we are privileged to announce that all other statutory entities reporting to the Department – the IEC, the FPB and GPW have similarly achieved unqualified audit opinions for the 2010/2011 financial year. We express our gratitude to the Director-General Mkuseli Apleni, Adv. Pansy Tlakula, Thoko Mpumlwana and Dr Tony Mbewu for these significant achievements. Working together, we will work towards the attainment of clean audits in the shortest possible time.
Government remains committed to ensuring immigration is managed effectively and securely in the best interests of the nation to advance economic, social and cultural development.
We will continue to enforce respect for our immigration laws through our inspectorate within the laws of our country while meeting our international obligations. In advancing this objective, we committed ourselves in 2011 to prioritising the management of immigration.
In this regard, we will later this year, gazette an immigration policy document that will present a coherent set of proposals for discussion by both stakeholders as well as members of the public.We are also developing a new visa and permitting regime.Progress is being made in clearing backlogs and new applications for permits are being processed efficiently.
Permits will with effect from this year, be collected from only one office per province to improve time required to process the applications. To enhance service delivery in the permitting environment, we will soon launch stakeholder forums for business and tertiary institutions. The Department has also acquired the necessary funding which will enable us to improve our infrastructure at maritime border facilities and make improvements at several border posts.
This year in September, South Africa will, on behalf of both the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union host the second Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics. This will assist Africa to develop national population registers and immigration systems to enhance development while promoting inter and intra African trade. We are humbled once more by the confidence expressed by the international community in our country’s ability to host international events of this magnitude. We will not fail them!
We stand ready to welcome these delegates onto our beautiful shores.It will indeed be a tribute to Oliver Tambo, who mobilised humanity against apartheid and whose untimely death we commemorated on Tuesday 24 April, as we receive delegates from the family of African nations. OR Tambo would certainly have called upon us as we receive these delegates, “to exhibit a great love for life and a sensitive joy in the creative and human endeavours of the people of the world without exception”.
We express our gratitude to the Chairperson Maggie Maunye and members of the Portfolio Committee members for their support and oversight during the year.We also express our gratitude to the Director-General, the senior management, and the entire Home Affairs family, especially those in the frontline offices for an excellent effort.Let us keep improving until indeed, we become a Department of excellence.
We express our appreciation to the President and Deputy President of the Republic for their guidance while thanking all our colleagues, Ministers and officials, in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security and Governance and Administration Clusters.
We are also grateful for the support and feedback we receive from the public which is the reason for our existence as Home Affairs.We also thank the media for assisting to communicate our messages to the people.
It is our sincere hope that once more this 2012 budget of our Department will be supported by all Honourable Members.
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
25 Apr 2012
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