Please find attached a soundbite by Angel Khanyile MP.
Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to centralise visa adjudication processes in the office of the Director General, while having no operational plan in place or the necessary resources to do the job, has created a substantial backlog on applications across all visa classes and is threatening to kill South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs, Mosa Chabane, requesting that he summons Motsoaledi to come and account for the dysfunction of the visa processing function in his office. Motsoaledi must provide clarity on:
- The exact number of outstanding visa applications across all classes.
- What prompted the decision to locate and centralise visa application processing in the office of the DG?
- What operational plan was put in place to reduce delays and ensure timely adjudication of visa applications?
- At what rate are visa’s being adjudicated on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
The DA’s public interface office in Parliament has been inundated by calls and emails from frustrated individuals who have waited for years to get feedback on their permanent residence applications, for example. When we follow up with Home Affairs, we are told that they have a backlog of applications that they are trying to clear.
Inefficiencies in providing timely visa outcomes has also begun to pose a serious threat to economic investment in the country. Recently, it was reported that foreign companies with billions of investment in the country are considering disinvesting in South Africa and going elsewhere due to delays in work visa processing for their expatriate staff.
With South Africa’s unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, it would be a tragedy if the Department of Home Affairs conspires to make it worse by putting off potential investors through administrative red tape in visa processing.
The current crisis in visa application adjudication is a largely due to ministerial neglect of back office operations by Motsoaledi. Parliament should intervene and demand that he provides a bankable plan that would help remove the current bottlenecks in the system. South Africa should be making it easy, not difficult, for highly skilled individuals and investors to enter the country and contribute to the growth of our economy.