Home affairs goes hi-tech at refugee centre to cut corruption

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Sunday toured the revamped and technologically advanced Marabastad Refugee Reception Centre, west of Pretoria.

Gigaba said with the technological advancement his department hoped to curtail corruption at the facility which had previously been widely reported in the media.

“We hope to complete this process by the end of October so that we can open up this new revamped office which will now be paperless. The services are going to be streamlined… we have put a number of operation managers on the ground so that we assist in the flood of [asylum seeker] applications,” Gigaba told reporters inside the centre.

“We’re introducing an online booking system for people to come and be captured, then see the refugee status determination officers. If for some reason the decision on the application has not been made, or they [asylum seekers] have appealed, we have made the extensions of their asylum seeker permits to be paperless so that people can self-extend using kiosks which we are going to roll-out throughout the country.”

Under the new regulations, asylum seekers register for an appointment at automated machines which also captures their fingerprints and other details.