Department of Home Affairs takes a stand on accusations made regarding the outsourcing of visa and permit applications to VFS Global
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) took a stand on the accusations made on occasion of the Home Affairs Budget Vote Oct. 14, 2016 in Cape Town.
DHA recently signed with VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, to receive and manage visa and permit applications abroad and in South Africa on behalf of the Department.
The decision to approve or reject such applicants however still remains in the hands of the Department.
What was Minister Gigaba’s role?
The contract’s intention is to strengthen the Department’s capacity to receive and manage visa and permit applications. It was also intended to reduce possible acts of corruption associated with manual permit processing systems.
The Department went on tender in 2010 when Minister Malusi Gigaba was not with the Department. The Department is not admitting to any irregularities on the part of the Minister’s predecessors and acted in the best interest of the country and the clients and will continue to do so.
The roll-out of the agreement with VFS was from 2011, long before Minister Gigaba came back in May 2014 when the contract in question was in place so the Minister could not have signed or influenced the contract, as claimed by the MP. Generally, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, a Minister does not sign contracts, a Director-General does, on behalf of a government department.
Was the Zimbabwe Special Permit cancelled?
The Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) was implemented by the Department of Home Affairs in December 2010 for a four-year period, ending December 2014. The ZSP had expired, and was not cancelled. The ZSP extension we later granted went to Cabinet for approval.
Was Minister Gigaba involved in issuing the 2014 Immigration Regulations?
In respect of the 2014 Immigration Regulations, in 2011 the Department had approached Cabinet with amendments, for approval. These regulations were processed and duly signed before Minister Gigaba’s appointment into office.