Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan: Media briefing note, Arcadia House, Prestoria
24 Aug 2012
Once again, welcome to this media briefing on behalf of the Ministry and Department of Home Affairs. It has not been possible for us to conduct our regular weekly media briefing due to a number of issues that have necessitated that we adapt to new developments in our body politic. Nonetheless, this week we will focus our briefing mainly on the following critical issues:
1. Home Affairs assistance to families of victims of the Marikana tragedy
2. Closure of some sections in Home Affairs Commercial office in Durban
3. Announcement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Conference
4. Minister Dlamini Zuma to attend the Bulwer funeral service for the seven school-children who died in a bakkie accident
5. KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Dinner in honour of Minister Dlamini Zuma’s election as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission
6. Permitting backlogs
Home Affairs assistance to families of victims of the Marikana tragedy
As you are very well aware, President Jacob Zuma, announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to give effect to government assistance to families of those mineworkers who either lost their lives or were wounded in the tragedy at Marikana.
In this regard, Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Chaired by Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, which convened its first meeting in Rustenburg on Monday, 20 August 2012.
As part of the overall mandate and responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, Home Affairs was charged with the responsibility of assisting with identification of remaining six deceased persons; issuance of death certificates to bereaved families; and to help in the facilitation of movement through our national ports of entry of the mortal remains of those miners who may be foreign nationals.
In this context, we can report that a team of senior departmental officials led by Deputy Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize is currently stationed in Rustenburg to give effect to decisions of the Inter-Ministerial Committee in respect of Home Affairs issues.
As a consequence thereof, we can now report that our Rustenburg Home Affairs office is currently been designated to assist bereaved families with the issuance of death certificates and burial orders for foreign nationals. Accordingly, we have to date issued 30 death certificates to bereaved families, most of whom originate from the Eastern Cape. In this regard, of the total number of deceased miners -there are five foreign nationals –four from Lesotho and one from Swaziland. The department will continue to assist families of these five foreign nationals with death certificates, burial orders, and documentation for transit to their home countries.
We have similarly assisted in the identification of five of the six miners who were early in the week not been identified. We are working round the clock to ensure we can help identify the last unidentified miner.
Once again, on behalf of Minister Dlamini Zuma and indeed on behalf of the department of Home Affairs, we join President Jacob Zuma, the government and people of South Africa, in extending our heartfelt condolences to members of the bereaved families while wishing those wounded a speedy recovery. We express our hope and wish that those families who lost their loved ones can draw solace from the knowledge that their loss is shared by millions in our country
Closure of some sections in Home Affairs Commercial office in Durban
Following fires that swept through the Home Affairs Commercial offices in Durban on Monday, 20 August 2012, the management of the Department has decided to close down sections in the office that deal with the issuance of IDs , passports and registration of births, marriage and deaths.
The fire began in the server room, leading to a complete destruction of the server. However the fire did not spread to other offices within the building. Yet the smoke emanating from the fire has affected operations in other sections of the entire building thus rendering it impossible to deliver services in respect of the issuance of IDs, passports, births, marriage and death certificates.
In this regard, those members of the public that may require services in respect of the issuance of IDs, passport, births, marriage and death certificates can in the meantime approach either our Umgeni Home Affairs office at 350 Umgeni Road in Durban or any nearest Home Affairs offices for assistance
Investigations are currently are underway to determine the cause of the fire. Simultaneously the Department is in a process of procuring and repairing equipment that has been damaged in the cause of the fire.
We take this opportunity to assure the public that no documentation was affected by the fire in the server room. Even though, the server in the office is damaged, back-up electronic files are safe and in the custody of our Headquarters in Pretoria.
Announcement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Conference
You would probably have noted the announcement by the Cabinet of the forthcoming Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Conference scheduled for 3 - 7 September 2012 at the ICC in Durban. The Conference will be hosted on behalf of the United Nations and the African Union
In this regard, both the Department of Home Affairs and the office of the Statistician General will next week, brief the media on details of the Conference at a media briefing. We however stand ready to receive the delegates of the various African Communities to this important conference.
Minister Dlamini Zuma to attend the funeral of Bulwer victims of recent accident whcih left seven school-children wdead
Our Minister, Dr. Dlamini Zuma will on Saturday 25 August attend the funeral service in Bulwer, Kwazulu-Natal for the seven school-children who died in a bakkie accident on Monday. The accident occurred on Monday 20 August when the bakkie transporting the school-children overturned on R617 road between Bulwer and Underberg in Kwazulu/Natal. The area forms part of Minister Dlamini Zuma’s parliamentary constituency.
The Minister will also this afternoon visit several families in Bulwer to offer her sympathies and support.
The department joins Minister Dlamini Zuma in extending our deepest sympathy to all those families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy. Accordingly, it is our hope and wish that the prayers and thoughts of the people of our country will help lessen the pain and sorrow of the bereaved families. Similarly, we pray for strength and a speedy recovery for those wounded in the tragedy.
Provincial events in honour of newly-elected chairperson of the African union Commission
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize and his Executive Council will on Saturday, 25 August 2012 host a dinner at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, in honour of Minister Dlamini Zuma, following her recent election as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The proceedings are expected to begin at 18h00.
The function is expected to be attended by among others members of the judiciary, diplomatic corps, Ministers, MPLs, traditional leaders, military veterans and religious organisations.
As Home Affairs, we join millions of our people in the country in particular and Africans in general in the continent and the Diaspora in congratulating Minister Dlamini Zuma on her election as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission- the first for a candidate of the Southern Region and significantly as the first female Chairperson of the Commission in 49 years.
We reiterate our conviction that in making Minister Dlamini Zuma available to serve the African Union, our country has made available one of the best daughters our country has produced –who has both the will and capacity to help advance the cause of the African Agenda with a view to help create a better Africa in a better world.
Minister Dlamini Zuma will, as a result of the funeral at Bulwer, no longer honour the invitation to Richardsbay where she was expected to address the Africa Women’s Day, scheduled for Phesheya Primary sports Field, Ngwelezane Uthungulu Municipality.
The function is organised to congratulate her on the new responsibilities and to pray for successful tenure at the helm of the continental organisation- the African Union’s Commission.
Daily adjudication of temporary residence permits
With a view to dealing with backlogs in the permitting section of the Department the following measures have now been put into place:
- A dedicated team of adjudicators was established on 6 January 2012 to process all day-to-day applications so that the backlog that existed then did not increase.
- This allowed the Department to keep track of daily applications whilst dealing with the backlog which accumulated prior to 6 January 2012.
- The purpose was to ensure that when the backlog is cleared, there would be no backlog which accumulated during the period the backlog was adjudicated.
Eradication of temporary residence backlog
- A team of adjudicators was established to manage the backlog, which was estimated at just over 46 000 as on 6 January 2012 were adjudicated by this team.
- A separate unit was established to clear applications from Educational Institutions.
- These applications were for Study and Work Permits from all recognised Educational Institutions in South Africa to ensure that applications for teachers and lecturers were prioritised to allow applicants to take up teaching and lecturing positions at relevant educational institutions.
We can now announce that the Department has finalised the adjudication of backlog applications for temporary residence permits that were at Head Office’s Central Adjudication Hub. Moving forward, the department requests that any applicant who has applied for a temporary residence permit between December 2010- January 2012 or any time before December 2010 has not heard from us they must submit their copies of their applications to : or fax: 0865326320 / 0867344036 / 0866317273 / 0866107220.
Engagement with Premier Soccer League clubs
- In consultation with the Premier Soccer League Clubs (PSL) and National First Division (NFD), the Department established a Unit to handle applications for foreign players, coaches and officials to ensure that work permits of such individuals were processed urgently.
- We are pleased to announce that all Premier Soccer League teams who submitted their officials’ work permits prior to the start of the 2012/2013 league season received their work permits.
- This was an effort by the Department to ensure that all these teams begin the season in accordance with their plans as expected by their supporters in the best interest of the South African Football.
Documentation of Zimbabwean Project (DZP)
- The Department wishes to announce that from the initial applications that were received prior to the closing date of the DZP, which was 31 December 2010, 279 336 applications were finalised. As on 23 August 2012, only 15 175 applications are outstanding.
- The Department was able to conclude these applications through processing them per province.
- We can now announce that all applications for DZP from all provinces except Gauteng have been finalised.
- The Department shall endeavour to finalise the remaining 15 175 applications from Gauteng by end of September 2012.
Permanent residence permits
The department took a decision to prioritise temporary residence permit as this category of foreigners is at risk of being in the country illegal if their applications are not finalised on time. This leads to them experiencing difficulties with, for example, running a business, working, studying, and accessing bank accounts if they do not have valid permits. Now that the temporary residence permit backlog has been finalised, the department has, from 01 July 2012, placed its resources on the eradication of the Permanent Residence permit backlog. The plan is to conclude the backlog by end of December 2012.
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
24 Aug 2012
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