City Home Affairs closure slammed

IMMIGRATION lobby groups have slammed the Home Affairs Department-contracted Global VFS for poor planning in not being able to cater for the “high volume” of visa applicants in the city.

This comes after an office meant to process visas for foreign nationals in Adderley Street shut down because the landlord, Rennie Properties, had “run foul” of the tenant, Global VFS, due to safety 

The closure has led to hundreds of applicants being turned away when they came to submit and collect their documentation.

The VFS Cape Town office served about 300 applicants daily and the landlord had no problem with that number. That changed when Lesotho citizens were able to apply for the Home Affairs Department’s Lesotho Special Permit (LSP).

The number of people seeking to enter the premises sharply increased to about 
1 000 daily, prompting the landlord to close the office.

 Forum for Immigration Practitioners South Africa (FIPSA) provincial chairperson Rod Maxwell said the closure will have far-reaching consequences as applicants whose visas expired yesterday will become illegal.

Maxwell said the problem arose because applicants came to the offices in large numbers, blocking entrances, restaurants and shops situated nearby.

“Indeed our clients are unhappy because due to the closure some applicants have now become illegal, with devastating consequences on their lives,” said Maxwell.