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06. Dec. 2023 news day

Govt responds to passport rushGovt responds to passport rush


GOVERNMENT has extended operating hours at the Civil Registry Department after its offices were flooded with desperate Zimbabweans applying for passports.
Snaking queues have emerged at the Civil Registry Department offices countrywide after Finance minister Mthuli Ncube proposed an increase in passport fees beginning next month. Ncube said he would increase fees for an ordinary passport from US$120 to US$200, while an emergency travel document will be priced at US$300 up from US$200.
This increase has triggered a massive demand for the travel document with some panicky citizens sleeping at the Central Registry Offices countrywide to beat the January 1 deadline.
In a statement yesterday, the Civil Registry Department said that its passport offices will now open from 0700 to1900 hours during weekdays and from 0800 to 1500 hours on Saturdays with immediate effect to cope with the demand.
“This is in response to an increase in the number of clients visiting our passport offices,” the statement read in part.
“Moreover, the recent announcement by the Government in relation to the proposed increase of passport fees with effect from 01 January 2024 has also contributed to clients rushing to apply for passports before the deadline.”
The Civil Registry also said the festive season is usually its busiest.
“With industry and schools closed, and returning citizens from the diaspora taking advantage of their visit to have their documents processed, the Department witnesses an influx of clients visiting its passport offices,” it said.
“In this regard, the department is extending its operating hours to facilitate efficient e-passport services in response to the high demand.”
A number of Zimbabweans are seeking passports to escape the country’s never ending socio-economic crisis.



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22. Feb. 2024 The Citizen

Motsoaledi Calls for Action Against Those Who Knowingly Employ Illegal Foreigners

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has advocated for stricter measures against business owners knowingly employing undocumented foreigners. During a stakeholder engagement and service delivery monitoring session in Gqeberha, Motsoaledi, along with Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, called for sanctions such as imprisonment or fines for guilty employers. The department had dispatched mobile Home Affairs trucks to assist citizens in obtaining their documents, responding to requests from the provincial government. Motsoaledi suggested implementing by-laws to prevent businesses operated by those who employ undocumented foreigners. He also urged parents to register their children to avoid situations like that of Thabo Bester. V.5202

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20. Feb. 2024 The Star

Asylum seekers, Newcomers be aware

People going to any Refugee Reception Centre in Cape Town , Gqeberha ( Port Elizabeth ) Marabastad Pretoria & Mesina know this if you never reported to border post to get an asylum transit visa when you go for the first interview for asylum you will be arrested if you don’t have this and you will be brought before a magistrate to explain why you never got it . If you cannot convince magistrate you will be deported Gauteng High Court rules in favour of Motsoaledi on detention of illegal immigrants V.5200

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14. Feb. 2024 iol

Gauteng High Court Rules in Favor of Motsoaledi on Detention of Illegal Immigrants

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ruled in favor of Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi in response to an application by a group of illegal immigrants. The immigrants claimed that their detention at the Modderbee Correctional Services Centre in Benoni was unlawful and violated immigration and refugee acts. V.5199

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12. Feb. 2024 City Press

Weak rand a tourist magnet, as their dollars and pounds go much further than back home

The rand may have lost value against foreign currencies, but this makes South Africa an attractive tourist destination It`s probably not the prospect of cheap cappuccino in South Africa that attracts foreign tourists here, but it`s obviously welcome if your foreign currency gets you further. Mary Curtis, a strategist, and Andrea Masia, a senior economist, both associated with RMB Morgan Stanley. said: Consumers can easily drink three cappuccinos in South Africa for the price of one in America. You can also spend four nights in a Cape Town hotel for the same price as one night in London `In the bigger picture, the low relative prices of goods and services in South Africa are just another example of the value in South African assets.` V.5197

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12. Feb. 2024 The Conversation

SA must clean up the mess Motsoaledi has made at home affairs

This particular mess was triggered by Aaron Motsoaledi’s failure to amend an unconstitutional law that allowed for the detention of irregular migrants for 120 days. Legal grievances against the South African department of home affairs, including contempt of court cases, are depressingly common. Too frequently, the minister has to apologise to a court or ask for more time on behalf of the department. Most of the court cases involve the operations of the department regarding visas, and permits for foreign visitors, immigrants and prospective refugees. V.5198

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10. Feb. 2024 Businesstech

New laws for remote worker and critical skill visas in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs has published the draft second amendment of the Immigration Regulations, which deals with two key categories of visas ` the remote working and critical skills visa ` and ancillary matters for public comment. The new regulations come after extensive lobbying by the Western Cape Government since 2021 for the introduction of a digital nomad visa and reforms to the visa regime to enable South Africa to attract skilled individuals to South Africa, to help develop and grow the economy. “To boost tourism, facilitate foreign investment, and allow digital nomads to work in South Africa, while spending their earnings here, we need to make it as easy as possible for them to access South Africa,” said WC MEC Mireille Wenger. V.5193

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10. Feb. 2024 IOL

Home Affairs is in need of a major clean-up

Legal grievances against the South African Department of Home Affairs, including contempt of court cases, are depressingly common. Too frequently the minister has to apologise to a court, or to ask for more time on behalf of the department. Most of the court cases involve the operations of the department regarding visas and permits for foreign visitors, immigrants and prospective refugees. Just a few months ago, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in legal papers: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere apology to the Chief Justice, all judges of the high court and Constitutional Court, the President of South Africa, Minister of Finance, Lawyers for Human Rights and its legal representatives and the people of South Africa for the mess created by officials of the Department of Home Affairs V.5194

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10. Feb. 2024 Businesstech

Canada extends ban on foreigners buying property what it means for South African emigrants

Canada has extended its ban on foreigners buying residential property, but South Africans living in the North American country should not worry. In 2022, the Canadian government passed the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by the Non-Canadians Act to stop foreign investors from buying residential property in Canada. This was intended to ensure that Canadian citizens were not priced out of the housing market. Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said that the government now intends to extend the ban by an additional two years. The ban on foreign ownership of Canadian housing will thus be extended from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2027. V.5195

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10. Feb. 2024 The South African

How to expedite a South African smart ID card application in 2024

Forget the ‘green mamba’ and say ‘howzit’ to expediting your South African smart ID card application online. A South African smart ID card application in 2024 has never been easier since the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) embraced digital technologies. If you need to expedite a smart ID card application, here’s what you need to do before wandering into a DHA branch and wasting everyone’s time. There are plenty of reasons you’ll want to speed up a smart ID card application. You may just be moeg of the ‘green mamba’ or perhaps your ID has been stolen or cloned and you need a new one. Whatever the case may be, you can speed up the smart ID card application process by going online first. Here’s what to do and how much it costs V.5196

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08. Feb. 2024 The Guardian

UK care firm charged workers from Africa thousands more than cost of visa

Zimbabweans say they paid large sums to Gloriavd Health Care but got far less work than expected and were squalidly housed A care company serving NHS patients has been charging migrant workers from Africa thousands of pounds to work in the UK when the cost of a visa is only a few hundred pounds, the Guardian has learned. Care workers from Zimbabwe were told to pay the sums to Gloriavd Health Care Ltd in return for arranging social care jobs in and around Leeds and Bath. They also claimed they were given far less paid work than they had been led to expect, were housed in overcrowded rooms and faced a threat that their conduct could be reported to the Home Office, leading them to fear deportation if they complained. One woman alleged she sold her home in rural South Africa to pay £6,500 in fees to the company operated by Gloria Van Dunem only to find she and her colleagues had so little work they had to rely on food banks. V.5192

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04. Feb. 2024 Daily Investor

Bank of America expects South Africa’s economic growth to triple in 2024

Bank of America expects South Africa’s economic growth to triple to 1.5% in 2024 from a paltry 0.5% in 2023. Sub-Saharan Africa economist at Bank of America, Tatonga Rusike, told CNBC Africa that this growth rate is nothing special and not good enough for the country. Rusike said 2024 will be a very tumultuous year for South Africa, with national elections, interest cuts expected in the second half, and deteriorating public finances. V.5190

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04. Feb. 2024

Foreigners are flooding to South Africa ` but we’re still playing catch-up

Tourist arrivals in South Africa have increased in recent years, but they are still far off pre-pandemic levels. According to Stats SA, in December 2023, 3.5 million travellers were recorded at South African ports of entry/exit, beating the 2.9 million seen in December 2022. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) said that there were an estimated 1.3 billion international tourist arrivals in 2023, which is 88% of pre-pandemic levels. With worldwide tourism rebounding, South Africa is experiencing a similar trend. In 2021, the number of international tourist arrivals was 77.9% lower than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, dropping from 10.23 million tourists in 2019 to 2.26 million in 2021. In 2022, this figure improved to approximately 5.70 million ` 44.3% lower than pre-pandemic levels. In 2023, tourist numbers stood at 8.48 million tourists in 2023 ` 17.1% below the pre-pandemic levels. V.5191

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02. Feb. 2024 The Street

A country just went visa-free for visitors with any passport

The president said that `it shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa.` As anyone who has traveled internationally will know, the passport one has will make it significantly easier or more difficult to visit certain countries. In 2023, Japan was taken over by Singapore for the status of the most powerful passport in the world. Citizens of the city-state can visit 192 of the world`s 227 countries and travel destinations without a visa while Germany, Italy and Spain tied for second place. The U.S., which was in first place in 2014, is curre. V.5156

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02. Feb. 2024 Le Monde

South Korea, the world`s lowest fertility rate sinks lower and lower

Researcher Sébastien Lechevalier reports on how the causes of declining fertility among Korean women vary from generation to generation. Falling birth rates affect most of the developed countries of East Asia and Europe, resulting in accelerated aging of the population. However, the scale of the phenomenon is greatest in South Korea. In 2021, the country`s total fertility rate (total amount of children per woman of childbearing age) was 0.81, compared with 1.16 in China, 1.19 in Spain, 1.25 in Italy, 1.3 in Japan, 1.58 in Germany and 1.8 in France. Most importantly, it`s a long-term situation: The fertility rate has been below 1.3 for two decades V.5189

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28. Jan. 2024 Businesstech

Big win for thousands of South Africans who lost their citizenship ` including those who didn’t even know

A law that strips South Africans of their citizenship is expected to be removed by the South African government. As per section 6(1) of the Citizenship Act, South Africans automatically lose their citizenship if they voluntarily obtain citizenship with another country. This is a continuation of an apartheid-era law. This law exists despite the Constitution stating that no South African may be stripped of their South African citizenship. Removing the right to citizenship also violates other rights enshrined in the Constitution, including the right to vote, the right to reside in South Africa, the right to stand for public office and the right to choose any occupation. Those who would like to retain their South African citizenship under the standing laws would need to apply to the Minster of Home Affairs to do so. V.5184

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28. Jan. 2024 Businesstech

Home Affairs is showing tourists in South Africa the door

Due to the backlog and long turnaround time for visas processed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), some tourists have been advised to leave the country by the end of February. The DHA issued a directive on 21 December 2023 that will require tourists who wish to extend their stay in South Africa to leave the country by 29 February 2024. According the Democratic Alliance, this will do incredible damage to the country’s tourism industry, as any visitors who wished to extend their stay over a busy holiday season would now be denied ` all because of the department’s backlog. “Tourists, when entering South Africa, can be issued with a 90-day visa and subsequently apply for a 90-day extension if they wish to stay longer. “South Africa stands to lose millions in lost revenue by not allowing them to extend their visas during the busiest season,” said DA MP Angel Khanyile. V.5185

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28. Jan. 2024 Businesstech

South Africa is running out of accountants

The number of chartered accountant candidates in South Africa is decreasing, while others are choosing to pursue opportunities in first-world countries ` contributing to the ongoing talent and skills shortage within the industry in the country. The Department of Home Affairs periodically releases a Critical Skills list to attract foreign professionals with locally scarce skills into South Africa to resolve economic bottlenecks resulting from skill shortages. Three updates have been made to the Critical Skills list over the last two years: February 2022, August 2022, and ` most recently ` October 2023. In the latest edition of the Critical Skills list, Accountancy, specifically auditing and financial analysis, is in high demand in South Africa. Speaking to eNCA, the education and training manager at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), Karl Smith, said that one of the reasons for this decline in qualified accountants is the negative perception of the profession. V.5186

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28. Jan. 2024 visa guide

Canada Reduces Foreign Student Permits by 35% in Effort to Reduce Soaring Numbers

KEY TAKEAWAYS • The Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced restrictive measures to reduce the increasing number of international students, which include capping the number of study permits issued annually. • The government aims to bring down the number of study permits approved to 360,000, marking a significant 35% decrease from 2023. • The new caps on approved study permits will be effective for two years, starting January 2024, with an assessment being scheduled for 2025. In response to concerns about the surge in international student numbers, the Canadian government, led by Minister Marc Miller, has announced caps on the number of approved study permits, which will be effective for two years, entering force as of January 2024. According to a press release by the authority, the new measure is expected to bring the number of study permits approved to 360,000 �` 35 per cent less than in 2023. Provinces will have caps based on their populations, excluding r V.5187

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28. Jan. 2024 Moneyweb

Billions of rands at stake over ‘swallow’ visa backlogs

SA is unable to handle the volume of applications that much smaller countries process in far less time and with far fewer resources. A Home Affairs directive issued in December tells short-term visitors planning to extend their 90-day visas they may have to leave by 29 February. South Africa, and the Western Cape in particular, stands to lose billions of rands in investment and tourism revenue because of visa backlogs at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). A DHA directive in December warns that the visa department is so backlogged with applications that visitors on 90-day visas planning to extend them for another 90 days will have to leave the country by 29 February unless they receive their visa renewals by 23 February. This means a potentially foreshortened stay for the so-called ‘swallows’, many of them property and business investors in SA, who migrate to SA to escape the northern hemisphere winter. V.5188

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26. Jan. 2024 EWN

Cape Town ranked as second-best city to visit in 2024

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said it was exciting to see that people across the globe still rated the Mother City as one of the top global destinations to visit. CAPE TOWN - Cape Town has been ranked the second-best city to visit in 2024 amid a list of 50 cities globally. New York tops the list of rankings stemming from an extensive survey of 20,000 global travellers. Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said it was exciting to see that people across the globe still rated the Mother City as one of the top global destinations to visit. He said that the ranking would elevate Cape Town`s tourism record. `This is wonderful news for Cape Town`s tourism economy, which has just seen record numbers of visitors from overseas visiting our city. Two point nine million in 2023 and 317,000 overseas visitors just in December 2023.` V.5183

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Articles

22. Feb. 2024 The Citizen

Motsoaledi Calls for Action Against Those Who Knowingly Employ Illegal Foreigners

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has advocated for stricter measures against business owners knowingly employing undocumented foreigners. During a stakeholder engagement and service delivery monitoring session in Gqeberha, Motsoaledi, along with Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, called for sanctions such as imprisonment or fines for guilty employers. The department had dispatched mobile Home Affairs trucks to assist citizens in obtaining their documents, responding to requests from the provincial government. Motsoaledi suggested implementing by-laws to prevent businesses operated by those who employ undocumented foreigners. He also urged parents to register their children to avoid situations like that of Thabo Bester. V.5202

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