JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says South Africa has failed to exploit the department’s full potential by undermining the value of its services for decades.

Gigaba has participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Black Business Council in Johannesburg, where issues of immigration regulation and youth employment were discussed.

He says Home Affairs is only starting to solidify its role as a gatekeeper and a means of ensuring national security.

Gigaba says neglect of the Home Affairs Department has resulted in the adoption of a negative view.

“The officials of the department themselves have a low opinion of themselves and therefore it impacts on their level of professionalism or lack thereof.”

But he says the department plays a role far more important than many realise.

“The identity document cards we issue enable South Africans to enter into economical and financial transactions of all sorts.”