Articles

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.

`Anyone who knowingly employs an illegal foreigner or a foreigner in violation of this act shall be guilty of an offence and liable, upon conviction, to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding one year. Additionally, a second conviction of such an offence shall be punishable by imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine,` said Motsoaledi.

He confirmed collaboration between the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and the Department of Small Business Development to tighten laws preventing undocumented foreigners from operating businesses.

Motsoaledi and Cogta Minister Thembi Nkadimeng co-hosted a workshop in October to address calls to shut down spaza shops owned by illegal foreigners, responding to rising cases of food poisoning among children.

Stakeholders agreed to joint inspections of businesses by various teams to enforce compliance with applicable laws. Additionally, audits of spaza shops in villages and townships were planned, along with mechanisms for registration with traditional leaders and municipalities.

The collaboration aimed to coordinate border law enforcement between the government, traditional and Khoi-San leaders, and the Border Management Authority (BMA) to keep records of foreign nationals in communities.



V.5202
19. Apr. 2024 Polity

Exploring the connection between the South African immigration system and job creation

In recent years, South Africa has seen a significant influx of immigrants from various African countries, as well as other parts of the world. This has raised important questions about the country`s immigration policies and their impact on job creation for both locals and immigrants. The South African immigration system, like many other countries, is a complex and ever-evolving process that aims to balance the country`s economic needs with its social and cultural interests. Let`s take a closer look at how this system intersects with job creation in South Africa. The South African government implemented the Immigration Act of 2002, which outlines the country`s immigration policies and procedures. Under this act, foreigners are required to obtain a visa or permit to enter, work, or study in South Africa. The type of visa or permit required depends on the intended purpose of the individual`s visit and their country of origin. V.5312

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19. Apr. 2024 MY BROAD BAND

The System is Down Home Affairs logs 140,859 hours of Smart ID downtime in four years

Due to system downtime and load-shedding, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) lost nearly 141,000 hours of Smart ID application and production time between the 2019/20 and 2022/23 financial years. Minister Aaron Motsoaledi revealed this figure in a recent response to questions raised in Parliament by Democratic Alliance MP Adrian Roos. Motsoaledi provided a breakdown of smart ID production and application hours lost to technical difficulties and load-shedding per province for each financial year from 2019/2020. These disruptions hit home Affairs offices in the Eastern Cape the hardest, with over 34,000 hours to rotational power cuts and system downtime. Mpumalanga offices lost the next-highest number of hours at 17 V.5313

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18. Apr. 2024 The Citizen

Motsoaledi outlines changes to ‘colonial era legislation’ on citizenship and immigration

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has said the public has shown great support for the final White Paper on citizenship, immigration and refugee protection which appeared in the Government Gazette on Wednesday. Briefing the media, he addressed what he saw as a long-overdue need to replace an outdated Citizenship Act, as well as enact proposed changes to existing legislation. V.5306

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18. Apr. 2024 Business Day

Crisis at home affairs is tearing families apart

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s indifference to the plight of those affected by his decisions is appalling In the tumultuous seas of immigration law, where uncertainty looms and families are left adrift in bureaucratic limbo, the department of home affairs has emerged as a sinking ship. As a director of a firm of immigration attorneys I’ve witnessed first-hand the dire consequences of the department’s negligence and incompetence. Today, I raise my voice not just as an attorney but as a concerned citizen, urging for a radical overhaul to salvage what remains of our immigration system. We have tirelessly fought battles in the courtroom against home affairs’ disregard for agreed-upon time frames. Countless cases have landed on our desks, each one a testament to the systemic failures plaguing the department. We’ve seen cases where contempt applications were the only recourse, as the department brazenly ignored court orders. V.5307

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18. Apr. 2024 Business Live

Cabinet approves plan to overhaul immigration laws

Document proposes overhauling the Citizenship Act, the Refugees Act and the Immigration Act and a review of the international treaty on refugee protection Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the cabinet has approved a white paper overhauling the country’s immigration laws after “robust engagements” that resulted in “wide support” of the document’s policy positions. V.5308

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18. Apr. 2024 Politics Web

DHA lost 77 years` worth of working hours in 5 years - Adrian Roos

The DA has been inundated with complaints that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) systems are offline, resulting in long queues and delayed processing of documents. Through questions posed to the Minister, the DA can now reveal that the DHA has lost over 77 years’ worth of working hours due to system downtime and load-shedding from 2019 to date. Concerningly, this data only relates to hours lost for the application of smart IDs, meaning decades more of working hours could have been additionally lost in other spheres such as passport or visa applications. The lost hours are largely due to system downtime, surpassing load-shedding. In the 2022/2023 financial year, where we experienced extensive load-shedding, system downtime was the cause of 41 691 hours lost (17 years), whereas load-shedding caused around 9 322 hours lost (4 years) at DHA civic offices on the production of smart IDs. V.5309

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18. Apr. 2024 EWN (EYEWITNESS NEWS )

Amendments still needed before White Paper on immigration, citizenship becomes law - Motsoaledi

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said that while the White Paper on Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Protection had been gazetted, there were amendments that needed to be made to the legislation before it could be passed into law. The White Paper is proposing an overhaul of the country`s migration laws, with the aim of tightening rules around allowing migrants into the country. V.5310

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18. Apr. 2024 Daily Investor

Critical skills flooding out of South Africa

Highly skilled professionals are leaving South Africa to move to other countries, while the local economy faces a skills shortage. Data from The Outlier revealed that there were just over 900,000 South Africans living abroad in 2020. This number has increased steadily over the past 20 years, from 500,000 in 2000, according to Stats SA’s Migration Profile Report for South Africa 2023. Of these 900,000 people, 7 out of 10 are living in either Europe or Oceania. In particular, Australia and New Zealand have seen a large growth in South African residents. In 2020, around 273,000 South Africans were living in those two countries, more than double the 106,000 who lived there in 2000. The UK remains still the top destination for South Africans who leave the country. V.5311

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17. Apr. 2024 BusinessTech

Home Affairs clarifies DELAY in awarding spousal visas

The Department of Home Affairs is going through a torrid time. As The South African reported earlier this year, naturalised South Africans are being refused smart ID cards. This is despite having the same constitutional rights as every other South African citizen. Now, Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has decided to clarify the reasons behind lengthy delays for spousal visas.Business Tech reports that some spousal (and relatives) visas are taking up to two years to process. The minister of Home Affairs says this is because documentation and claims need to be verified. Replying to a parliamentary Q&A session, the minister says the issue is being addressed by the Home Affairs ‘Backlog Eradication Plan’. V.5305

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16. Apr. 2024 Times Lives

Nearly 4,000 people blocked from entering SA illegally over Easter

Border Management Authority SA commissioner Mike Masiapato on Sunday revealed that over a 10-day period during Easter nearly 4,000 people were intercepted attempting to enter the country illegally.Addressing a media briefing, Masiapato said 2,403 of those intercepted did not have any documents at all. Another 1,019 individuals were refused entry for being undesirable and 419 were found inadmissible to enter the country due to various reasons.“The majority of those arrested without documents were intercepted at the vulnerable segments of the borderline. They were processed, declared undesirable for five years, and were deported. Most of the inadmissible individuals were found with invalid passports, fraudulent visas or just failed to produce relevant documents such as valid yellow fever certificates, especially those travelling from yellow fever endemic countries,” Masiapato said. V.5303

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16. Apr. 2024 Times Lives

LISTEN | Drones, speedboats, hand-held biometric devices to help manage borders: Motsoaledi

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi says surveillance drones, speedboats and hand-held biometric devices have been ordered to help manage the country`s porous borders. South Africa`s land borders cover about 4,700km. Insufficient security and the poor state of fencing make the borders insecure, with foreigners entering illegally and allowing other acts of criminality. V.5304

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15. Apr. 2024 The Mercury

Home Affairs visa backlog ballooning as foreign nationals use loophole

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has blamed visa backlogs on the growth in the number of notarial contracts being instituted by foreign nationals using non-existent spouses. Motsoaledi was speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, on Tuesday on the amended immigration regulations, over which he said there seemed to be some misunderstanding. He said as a result of the confusion, the department would be withdrawing the gazetted amendments to clear up the misconceptions and would re-gazette them as early as next week. The minister admitted that his department was experiencing a backlog surrounding dependants, spouses and relatives’ visas being sought by foreign nationals who had been approved to come into the country after successfully obtaining employment. He said in most cases while the approvals were easily obtained, they did not include spouses and dependants, which many were decrying as they were not willing to be separated from their families. V.5298

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15. Apr. 2024 Bizcommunity

Home Affairs clarifies misunderstanding on work visas

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has moved to clarify a misunderstanding on the gazetted regulations recommendations on the Critical Skills and General Work Visas. This comes after some media reports had stated that the department had done away with the Critical Skills Visa in favour of a point-based system. Briefing the media on the Second Amendment of the Immigration Regulation 2014 on Tuesday, Motsoaledi pointed out that section 19(4) of the Immigration Act states that a Critical Skills Work Visa may be issued by the Director-General to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic from time to time by the Minister by notice in the gazette. V.5299

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15. Apr. 2024 Businesstech

Home Affairs working on major visa changes for South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has backtracked on its new Immigration Regulations but still has several new initiatives in the pipeline for South Africa. Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said that he would withdraw the recently gazetted Immigration Regulation Amendments. The regulations replaced the highly-contested critical skills list with a new points-based system. The regulations were received positively by businesses in South Africa, with the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa saying that they should ease the administrative burden that international companies with businesses in South Africa face when hiring skilled foreigners. V.5300

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15. Apr. 2024 SABC news

Home Affairs loses 38 000 working hours due to load shedding

The Department of Home Affairs says it has lost close to 38 000 working hours over the past five financial years due to the impact of load shedding. The Eastern Cape has the highest amount of working hours lost at more than 7 900. Mpumalanga lost 5 990 hours, while Gauteng lost 4 621 working hours. This was revealed by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, replying to a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question on the total hours lost in each province due to load shedding. DA MP, Christopher Roos, who posed the question, says this is an alarming number of working hours lost, and is a concern for service delivery. V.5301

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15. Apr. 2024 Moneyweb

Cape Town set for record cruise tourist season

Industry injected an estimated R1.2bn into the Western Cape economy in the last financial year, with around 90 000 passengers and 38 000 crew members expected to step ashore in the current year. For the first time in history, Friday (11 April) saw two of the world’s most famous cruise liners the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria dock in the Port of Cape Town at the same time. V.5302

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12. Apr. 2024 SA Migration

Legalising yourself from within South Africa

In the past, prior to the amendments to the Immigration Act, it was possible for an illegal foreigner to “legalise” or “regularise” him/herself from within South Africa by making payment of the requisite fine. This is no longer the case and we are constantly encountering foreigners who find themselves illegally in South Africa with little hope of rectifying their situation. The current dilemma In many cases, these illegal foreigners elect to depart South Africa and contest any ban issued to them from outside of the country. This involves the submission of an overstay appeal to the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”). A number of foreigners, however, simply have too much invested in South Africa and are unwilling to depart the country for fear of incurring a ban that may or may not be overturned. V.5294

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12. Apr. 2024 Moneyweb

Home Affairs blocked from deporting ‘critical skills’ Czech executive

By its own admission, the department loses most of its court cases- the costs of which are borne by the taxpayer. Dzmitry Dzenisiuk was deployed to SA in 2014, with his wife joining him under a spousal visa. Both applied for visa extensions in February 2021. Image: Moneyweb The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has been blocked by the Pretoria High Court from deporting a foreign worker and his wife, both of whom had been refused visa extensions, based on its failure to properly consider the documents supplied in their visa applications. This is the latest in a string of court losses notched up by Home Affairs. In the latest ruling, the high court ruled that the decision not to renew the visa of two foreign nationals must be set aside and returned to Home Affairs for reconsideration. V.5295

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12. Apr. 2024 The Citizen

SA’s tourism soars despite our visa mess

International Tourism Association’s Fred Duma said the visa backlog was now sitting at more than 95 000 applications. Tourist arrivals in South Africa hit a positive trend, with improvements in the number of visitors spanning 2021 to 2023 - despite the department of home affairs chasing away visitors who have not received visa renewals by 23 February. In a directive issued by home affairs on 21 December, tourists were advised to leave the country by the end of this month, despite admitting a backlog and long turnaround time for visas. International Tourism Association’s Fred Duma said the backlog was now sitting at more than 95 000 applications, “which clearly means no-one will get their visa by the time the minister Aaron Motsoaledi has set”. V.5296

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12. Apr. 2024 The Citizen

Private sector can help government with critical skills visa backlog

A lack of critical skills is holding back the South African economy but the problem is not being solved fast enough. The private sector is willing to help government with the visa backlog to ensure that people with critical skills can start working in the country to help grow the economy. Busi Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), says in her weekly newsletter the Department of Home Affairs has a backlog of 74 000 applications for all kinds of visas according to an official quoted by Bloomberg last month. Many of those are in the scarce skills category and the backlog exists despite concerted efforts by government led by the Operation Vulindlela programme to drive implementation of policy that will substantially improve access to scarce skills visas. V.5297

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Articles

19. Apr. 2024 Polity

Exploring the connection between the South African immigration system and job creation

In recent years, South Africa has seen a significant influx of immigrants from various African countries, as well as other parts of the world. This has raised important questions about the country`s immigration policies and their impact on job creation for both locals and immigrants. The South African immigration system, like many other countries, is a complex and ever-evolving process that aims to balance the country`s economic needs with its social and cultural interests. Let`s take a closer look at how this system intersects with job creation in South Africa. The South African government implemented the Immigration Act of 2002, which outlines the country`s immigration policies and procedures. Under this act, foreigners are required to obtain a visa or permit to enter, work, or study in South Africa. The type of visa or permit required depends on the intended purpose of the individual`s visit and their country of origin. V.5312

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