Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee
Prof CT Msimang, MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
Honourable House Chairperson,
I read this debate on behalf of the IFP portfolio committee member on Home Affairs, Ms Sibongile Nkomo, MP.
At the outset, let me state that the Inkatha Freedom Party supports this budget vote debate. As you know this portfolio is close to our hearts and the heart of our leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP, who held the position of Minister of this Department from 1994 until 2004.
Honourable Chairperson, this portfolio like all others finds itself facing difficult challenges because of the uncertain socio-economic times we find ourselves in, not only domestically but also globally.
As South Africa is seen as a leading light in Africa we have a large number of asylum seekers requesting safe-haven within our borders with the promise of a better life for not only themselves but their families as well.
This goodwill is preyed upon by criminal and corrupt elements from within and without the department who accept bribes in return for asylum permits .This not only allows additional criminal elements into South Africa but also threatens the safety of genuine asylum seekers who may be forced to return to home where they could face persecution.
It was reported in a recent survey undertaken that more than 50% of refugees advised that they had been asked for a bribe before documentation would be issued.
The porosity of our borders combined with the paucity of our border controls continues to lend itself to an influx of criminal elements that poach our wildlife and traffic in illicit narcotics and stolen goods. It has also been well documented that South Africa remains a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking – the Department has an extremely important role to play in eradicating this scourge from within our Borders and should do everything in its considerable power to stop this devilish practice.
On the domestic administrative side and whilst we do commend the embracement of technology by the department in respect of its smart ID card development rollout as well the fact that one can now apply for an ID Card and passport at some of our major banks, we are still of the opinion that the administrative ‘basics’ leave a lot to be desired.
There still appear to be loopholes for the negligent or fraudulent issue of identity books and passports, only recently a citizen had two identity books issued to him each containing a different surname.
Our offices also receive countless complaints from citizens in desperate plea to bring resolve to departmental counter issues which lead to them having to wait many months for ID’s, Visa’s, passports or abridged birth certificates. In many instances these matters are only resolved once we escalate the matter to the ministry.
A back to basics approach is what required Honourable Minister.
Get the basics right and the rest will follow!
The IFP supports this budget vote.
I thank you.
Prof CT Msimang, MP
082 452 2650
IFP Media, Parliament