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Feb 24 2009

SA travellers pay for Home Affairs incompetence

Published by at 10:11 am under Opinion,Top Stories

Until now South Africa’s non-functioning department of home affairs was mostly a source of frustration to foreigners. From 3 March South African citizens will also suffer under the administrative incompetence of this government department. Specifically, South African citizens travelling to the United Kingdom.

How? From 3 March South Africans will only be allowed into the UK with visas. And this will cost them money and time. Why are visas now required by the UK government? Because SA passports are being forged in great style and home affairs can’t get a handle on the problem.

This is what the London-based newspaper The South African had to say about the unfortunate development:

“The official reason for the change is that the British government has been extremely concerned by the number of individuals who have entered the UK on the basis of forged South African passports, including allegedly individuals connected with Al-Qaeda,” said Hannes Breytenbach of Breytenbachs Solicitors. 

Six months ago South Africa and ten other countries were warned to improve their passport security systems or face tougher visa requirements. Six of these countries improved their passport security systems to escape the new rules. Sadly, South Africa proved unable to satisfy.

On Tuesday the South African government admitted there were “some problems” with its passport authorisation systems, which led to the imposing of visas. “We as a country, and I think the department of home affairs, will be the first to admit that there has been some problems in our identity card authorisation system,” foreign affairs director-general Ayanda Ntsaluba said. Ntsaluba said it should be accepted there were certain “challenges” South Africa faced when it came to passports.

A holiday visa will cost 65 pound sterling. 

For the complete story, go here.

Coming after this debacle, I think one can hardly be critical enough of South Africa’s department of home affairs.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “SA travellers pay for Home Affairs incompetence”

  1. adminon 06 Mar 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Now the minister of home affairs announces a fantastic safe, new passport, together with a range of steps to tighten up procedures and crack down on fraudulent behaviour. Look at this promising article.

    But, why now? Three days after visas became compulsory for SA citizens entering the UK? Why couldn’t these steps have been taken when the UK government insisted on them?

    Something smells…

    Christo

  2. adminon 24 Mar 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Now they wake up! But, let’s stay positive and say: Great news!

    For the full range of steps taken, go here. And when you read that story, don’t skip the last paragraph. Then take some time to get your head around the numbers…66 employees in the department of home affairs were arrested in the 12 months to end February 2009 for passport fraud. Sixty-six…

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