The Department of Home Affairs received a qualified audit for the second year in a row, according to it’s 2012 / 2013 annual report. In 2011, the Department of Home Affairs received it’s first unqualified audit opinion in 16 years under the leadership of (then) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The qualified audit is rather bad news for Minister Naledi Pandor, as her appointment as the new Minister of Home Affairs was received with much excitement and hope considering the great results she achieved with other departments previously.
The Auditor-General’s report stated that a lack of adequate oversight within the department formed part of the qualified audit opinion. The A-G’s report also included issues such as:
– R4,2 million in irregular expenditure;
– R301 million in unauthorised expenditure;
– 75% targets were not achieved; and
– R26 million in material losses and 7099 lost assets were written off.
The Department’s qualified audit were to be discussed by the Democratic Alliance in the Portfolio Committe meeting with Home Affairs on Friday, 11 October 2013.
Home Affairs struggles to fill anti-graft vacancies:
In other Home Affairs news, a 34% vacancy rate within the counter-corruption unit was confirmed by Home Affairs Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni.
DG Mkuseli Apleni Picture Source: sabc.co.za
DG Mkuseli Apleni told Parliament’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee that they are experiencing delays in appointing the right people. The filling of these anti-graft posts is one of several annual performance targets which the department missed in the past financial year.
Abolishment of cash fines at Ports of Entry:
Home Affairs arrested 11 of it’s own officials at O.R Tambo airport as part of rooting out corruption. More interesting news is that the Department plans to abandon the use of cash fines at all South African ports of entry to minimise bribery and the temptation thereof. Home Affairs is planning on noting all fines on their electronic database. By having this method, travellers should be made aware that no cash should be paid to the officials at all South African borders.
Immigration status of farm workers:
Minister Naledi Pandor told Agri South Africa that the department of home affairs will conduct visits at farming communities across South Africa to inspect the immigration status of farm workers.
Minister Naledi Pandor is of the opinion by employing illegal farm workers not being documented, South Africa might face a serious national security risk. She called upon the assistance of Agri South Africa as well as farmers to authorize these farm visits beforehand in order to conduct these inspections.
Registration of children born to farmworkers:
The department is also aiming to facilitate the registration of children born to farm workers, whilst inspecting the immigration status of farm workers. The registration of birth on the National Population Register is aimed to be done within 30 days.
Many employers are not always sure whether their workers and their families are registered. Minister Naledi Pandor established the late registration of birth process in order to help people who are without birth certificates.