“The DA has repeatedly said that the failing ANC is forcing people into undocumented status. The ANC government is leaving people in a burdensome and stressful position of uncertainty. This situation could have and should have been avoided”.
Left: Jacques Julius MP outside the Office of the Department of Home Affairs in Cape Town; Right: Jacques Julius MP, Terry Xabendlini (Immigration Coordinator Western Cape), Thandi Mati (Acting Office Manager for the Cape Town Office), Bongiwe Sakawuli (District Manager in charge of the Cape Metro), Almien van den Berg (Western Cape Coordinator) and Yusuf Simons (Provincial Manager)
This was the finding of the DA Team One south Africa Spokesperson on Immigration, Jacques Julius, after his visit to the office of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in Cape Town today.
“Today I engaged with clients, staff and management about the challenges that they face in the provision of critical services to citizens and foreign nationals. The office management were very cooperative. They told us about the lack of resources and lack of capacity at their disposal – particularly pertaining to the immigration services” says Julius.
The Cape Town DHA office is currently critically under-capacitated to deliver efficient and effective immigration services. The Western Cape only has 48 immigration officers, with Cape Town only having 14.
The office also does not have enough vehicles to transport those who are in the country illegally to the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Gauteng. This means people are often stranded.
According to Julius “the immigration management at the office highlighted that there continues to be repeated instances of illegal entrants being detained in Cape Town”.
This Home Affairs Office in Cape Town is frequently in the news concerning offline systems to the frustration of clients who often begin queuing well before 7 am.
The office management confirmed that the issues with the IT system stem from the Department’s poor Sita connectivity IT system. The admitted that the office would be much more efficient if it had its own IT connection.
“These challenges are indicative of an immigration system that is tethering on the brink of collapse” says Julius.