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What You Can Expect From South Africa’s Updated Identity System

The South African government is currently working on an updated national identification system with the ultimate goal of building a ‘future-fit’ Home Affairs.

Speaking at an ID4Africa conference earlier this month, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said that the system will provide a single source of information about all clients, using both biographic and biometric technologies.

“The new national identity system South Africa seeks to build will serve as a master source for civics and immigration management,” she said.

“The modernisation of South Africa’s Home Affairs, when fully and successfully implemented, will re-engineer and automate most of the key processes of the department and yield a significantly enhanced national identification system, and a credible national population register.”

Some of the key elements of the system include:

  • Records of persons throughout their lifespan;
  • Birth, marriage and death records of residents (citizens, permanent residents, asylum seekers and refugees);
  • All persons entering the country will have their biometrics captured during the visa application process or at the point of entry;
  • Processing and storing of asylum seekers and refugees’ applications;
  • Records of visitors who enter and leave the country;
  • Records of illegal persons in the country.

Pandor also promised that the new system will be more customer-centric and will be a secure environment.

“With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the ultimate goal is to utilize technology in bringing government services closer to the people, where they live,” she said.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SA Constitutional Court Issues Asylum Seeker Ruling

An application for leave to appeal against a decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal was settled this week in South Africa’s Constitutional Court. The case concerns the question whether asylum seekers, including those whose applications for refugee status have been refused, are eligible to apply for other visas and immigration permits in terms of the Immigration Act. The applicants also sought an order setting aside a Department of Home Affairs (Department) directive, Immigration Directive 21 of 2015 (Directive), which requires Departmental functionaries to refuse all applications for temporary and permanent residence visas made by the holder of an asylum seeker permit.

The order issued is as follows:

  • Leave to appeal is granted.
  • The appeal is upheld and the order of the Supreme Court of Appeal is set aside.
  • To the extent that Immigration Directive 21 of 2015, issued by the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs on 3 February 2016, imposes a blanket ban on asylum seekers from applying for visas without provision for an exemption application under section 31(2)(c) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002, it is declared inconsistent with the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 and invalid.
  • To the extent that Immigration Directive 21 of 2015, issued by the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs on 3 February 2016, prohibits asylum seekers from applying for permanent residence permits while inside the Republic of South Africa, it is declared inconsistent with Regulation 23 of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 published under Government Notice R413 in Government Gazette 37697 of 22 May 2014 and invalid.
  • There is no order as to costs.

While this is good news for SA’s asylum seekers, it remains to be seen what the Department of Home Affairs’ reaction to the judgement will be.

To read the full case details, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].