South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has appointed a five-member committee to review permits and visas issued to most immigrants who have been in that country since 2004.
Motsoaledi said the move was meant to eradicate corruption in the Department of Home Affairs with indications pointing to possible issuance of permits or visas to wrong people.
Addressing reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday, Minister Motsoaledi said the committee will review the Permanent Residence Permits (PRP), which are just a step away from citizenship, corporate visa, especially in the mining sector, business visa, (professional) critical skills visa, and retired persons’ visa, citizenship by naturalisation and study visa. He said:
We chose 2004 as the cut-off date because that is the year the Immigration Act, Act number 13 of 2002, came into operation.
The committee members are Dr Cassuis Lubisi (Chairperson), with extensive experience in governance as a Director-General in Government, Advocate Sesi Baloyi –a Senior Counsel who is the Chairperson of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates and Mr Peter Bishop – a forensic investigations specialist with vast experience in both the public and private sector locally and internationally.
Others are lawyer, Ms Kathleen Dlepu – the Chairperson of the Legal Services Council, formerly Law Society and Prof Somadoda Fikeni – an academic with extensive experience at the university level and a Commissioner at the Public Service Commission.
Minister Motsoaledi expects the committee to identify loopholes in the Home Affairs system and recommend improvements He said he expects an interim report in three months.
At least 300 000 Zimbabweans are in the neighbouring country under the three-year Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) which will expire at the end of December this year.