24 MAY 2022

House Chairperson

My colleague, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Njabulo Nzuza

Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Honourable Mosa Chabane

Honourable members of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs

Honourable members of the National Assembly

Vice Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Ms Jeanet Love and CEO Mr Sy Mamabolo

Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mr Tommy Makhode

CEO of the Government Printing Works (GPW), Ms Alinah Fosi

Commissioner of the Border Management Authority, Dr Mike Masiapato

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On this day of our budget vote, we as the Department of Home Affairs are acutely aware that we are sitting in this House in the presence of two elephants in the room.  Yes, there are two main things that occupy our minds, your minds as Members of this House and the minds of the South African public at large.

These are the long winding queues outside Home Affairs front offices, and the issue of immigration in our land.

At this moment in time, you are expecting no less from this budget vote than to hear what are the Department’s best laid plans to deal with these two issues.

There are of course other important issues that affect members of the public that the Department deals with on a daily basis.  But the two main arms of the Department, viz, Civic Services and immigration, have an ever-looming presence in our midst.


Let me start with the issue of long queues in our front offices.

It is common cause that we cannot pinpoint only one particular reason that is causing this unsavoury state of affairs.

There are numerous and various reasons that are responsible.  However, the main one that sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest is the issue of system downtime.  In my previous budget speech, I referred to it as the original sin.

It is painful and generates a lot of anger to visit a Home Affairs office very early in the morning and just stand there and wait for hours on end because all systems are down.  It is very frustrating to say the least.  Many members of the public simply believe DHA computers don’t work, and they keep asking us, why don’t you just fix your computers or even buy new once?  We can’t blame them.  They don’t know that the problem of systems that are continuously down go beyond just fixing a computer. 

Last year both SITA (State Information Technology Agency) and the Department of Home Affairs appeared in front of the Portfolio Committee and outlined plans to deal with this perennial problem.

As if systems downtime is not enough of a headache by itself, we then had Covid-19 and had to go for many months without certain services of Home Affairs being provided because we simply couldn’t.  Now everybody is gravitating to the front offices to claim these services they had missed for a period of no less than 18 to 24 months.  This worsens the situation. Be that as it may, let me remind the house what we and SITA jointly promised to do together.

  • Revamping the old network

I am happy to announce that SITA has informed us that they are spending R400 million revamping its entire network, having just completed a procurement process in that regard.  This revamp will be concluded in the third quarter of this financial year.

  • Implement Software Define Network (SDN)

This work has been concluded by SITA and will assist in increasing our bandwidth due to the number of applications we use at Civics.  This will increase our connectivity.

  • Internet Capacity

Honourable Chair, I know of no other Government Department that consume as much internet services as Home Affairs does.  Virtually internet services are a sine qua non of the existence of our Civic Services.

SITA has now doubled its internet capacity and introduced three failovers located in three cities, namely:  Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini.

This will ensure that if any of the network is down, there will be two to support our services.  Members of the Portfolio Committee have always asked about the issue of redundancy – meaning backup connection or network.  Hence these failovers in three cities will assist in this redundancy.

  • Develop a plan for cyber-security

SITA has finalised its procurement plan to address cyber-security for our IT infrastructure. This will be implemented during this financial year once law enforcement agencies have given approval.  All in total SITA has committed to spend almost R1 billion on IT infrastructure to support the Department of Home Affairs and others.  But we know that the Department of Home Affairs will be one of the major beneficiaries.

  • Roll-out new switches and routers

The Department has installed new 136 routers and 150 switches in 136 offices.

We still need to install 112 routers and 68 switches which have already been bought.

  • Bringing in Engineers from the Banks

Honourable Chairperson, we wish to confess that whenever our systems are down, we stand in awe of the banks which always seem to be having a stable IT network.  We ask ourselves how do they achieve that?

I am happy to announce that after engagement on this issue we are bringing onboard eight (8) IT engineers from a leading bank to assist to stabilise our network as well as with installation of some key IT infrastructure.  All the eight IT specialists have been through the vetting process and have completed it.  They will soon join us. 

We believe that the partnerships with the banks will rapidly reduce the skills deficit and assist the Department to improve and maintain system uptime.

Members of the Portfolio Committee will remember that we mentioned on numerous occasions that banks are prepared to offer some of the Home Affairs services at some of their branches. 

However, this did not work as fast as we envisaged because the banks are worried of reputational damage that our system downtime would cause them. 

Remember that for them to offer Home Affairs services, they need to verify the details of the client by using our system.  If there is downtime the banks also get stuck. 

We believe that as soon as their own engineers have helped us to increase system uptime, the banks will cheerfully open their doors for Home Affairs services.

  • South Africa Connect (SA Connect)

We are eagerly waiting for the SA Connect announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.  While this is a Government-wide initiative, Home Affairs will be a major beneficiary. Home Affairs needs as much broadband as can be made available. 

  • Installing Generators

Apart from downtime due to SITA networks and Home Affairs, load shedding has added another burden on the shoulders of Home Affairs.  Our offices are not spared during load shedding.

We have installed generators in all our 197 modernised offices but our remaining 215 non-modernised offices will be out of operation for the duration of load shedding in a particular area, further increasing the queues.

Then there is the national scourge which Home Affairs is particularly vulnerable to – cable theft.  On the 26 April 2022, the headline in the Daily Dispatch, a newspaper publication in the Eastern Cape read “Cable theft shuts Home Affairs”.

While technicians from SITA were able to resolve this, it took two days to install new cables, leaving the entire province unable to access some services. Again and needless to say, members of the public simply believe Home Affairs is dismally failing to repair their computers. They express their anger through the abusive phone calls and emails we receive. 

We do try and deploy mobile trucks to some of these areas affected by cable theft but the level of anger is always high.  NATJOINTS is trying to attend to this but we wish to remind members of the public that when you see somebody stealing a cable please just realise that he is making it impossible for you to get your documents from Home Affairs on time. Our Department is more vulnerable to cable theft than any Government Department.

  • New infrastructure

Honourable Chairperson, we have already alluded to the fact that unlike clinics, schools and police stations, our offices are not purpose built.  They are hired through the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure from somebody else who built them for a different purpose.

Hence our people stand in ugly and unyielding long queues even in the rain or the scorching sun.  They even struggle to find parking for their cars.

We have tried to provide ourselves with custom-built offices suitable for our purposes.  Such a new modern custom-built office is now operational in Lusikisiki and this financial year, we will finalise construction and open two such offices in Limpopo located in Mokopane and Thohoyandou as well as a third one in Taung in North West.   Construction has just started in the Stanger in KZN.

We have also registered 15 offices with Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Council to be built through a PPP for our high volume offices. These are Byron place in Pretoria, and the not-so-well-spoken-about Harrison Street office in Johannesburg.

In the Eastern Cape, we have selected an office in Buffalo City, Gqeberrha and the troublesome office in Mthatha.

In KZN we have selected offices in Pinetown and Mngungundlovu. 

In Limpopo it will be the unwieldy Polokwane office.  In Mpumalanga it will be offices in Emalahleni and Mbombela.

As you can see Honourable Chair, these 15 high volume infrastructure projects were well thought of and the offices identified were well chosen for the problems there are perennially present to the public.  However, we need to concede that it will take some time until they provide relief because construction is still to start.

Hence as an immediate relief measure, we have been engaging several malls in the country.   Operating Home Affairs offices at malls will obviate the problem of queuing in the sun or rain.  Malls will also provide convenient and safe parking for clients.  We shall start with Menlyn mall in Pretoria, Cresta mall and Southgate mall in Johannesburg, the Pavillion in eThekwini and Tygervalley mall in Cape Town. 

It is hoped that the Cresta mall operation will help relieve the Much-Maligned Randburg offices and operations in the Pavillion mall will relieve the pressure on our Umgeni offices which are often not well spoken about.

Honourable Chair, since the malls still have to move some tenants around to make way for Home Affairs, we will install our equipment there around September this year.  We shall start with the Menlyn mall in Pretoria and then roll-out to the rest.

  • Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS)

Honourable Chair, another immediate relief measure is a new online booking system called BABS (Branch Appointment Booking System). This system is presently being piloted in 24 of our busiest offices.

The results of these 24 pilots are encouraging and we will be rolling out this system to more offices and also run a campaign to increase awareness. The pilot started in December last year at the Byron and Akasia offices in a hybrid model allowing booked and walk-in clients.  A total of 33 463 people have used the system between December 2021 and 13 May 2022.

Apart from making sure that there are no queues in the Home Affairs offices where it is implemented, the BABS system will help eradicate corruption by making sure that those who practice the obnoxious behaviour of selling queue spaces have no clients because clients book straight online and come at the appropriate time, and hence they have no need to buy space from anybody in the queue.  The Deputy Minister will elaborate more on this important intervention.

  • Staffing of the Department

The last major project on dealing with queues is the capacitation of the Department with staffing. 

We have complained on numerous occasions that our front offices are only 39% staffed and of course this contributes in no small measure to long queues.  This happened for the past 5 years when Treasury slapped a ceiling on the budget for COE (Compensation for Employees).  Hence when people left the Department by natural attrition, they were not replaced.  Furthermore population growth was not catered for.  Added to this, is a painful loss of more than 40 front office staff due to Covid-19.  We also suffered severe budget cuts in the last two years because money has to be moved to health facilities to help fight Covid-19.

This financial year National Treasury came to the party with a relief measure even though we still have a long way to go.  We have been awarded R266 million which will help push our staffing level to at least 42% by hiring an additional 764 employees.  517 of these employees will be front office staff and 288 will be new immigration officers. 

  • Deploying mobile offices

As a further relief measure, we have bought 10 extra mobile trucks for R15 million and will add another 15 for R20 million this financial year.  Our trucks were very helpful during the recent floods in KZN, and hence we value them a lot.

We will continue adding more trucks each financial year until we have increased our total tally by 100% i.e from the present 100 trucks to 200 trucks. 

We would like to see a situation where no learner is allowed near any Home Affairs office during school hours but wait for the mobile trucks to visit their school.  This school programme is run by the Deputy Minister and he will elaborate on it.

  • Digitization of our paper records

Lastly Chair, you have heard about the programme of digitization of our 300 million paper records which starts from as far back as 1895.  Once done digitization will relieve the long queues because it makes it unnecessary for people who need services such as rectification and name changes not to come to Home Affairs and queue many times as they are doing now. The reason that people asking for rectification and name changes come to Home Affairs many times is because after outlining to officials what changes they want the official will then have to go to archives to search manually among the 300 million paper records to ascertain what the original name was.  The client is then instructed to come back on a particular date and unfortunately this might be repeated more than once.


Honourable Chairperson, as I said earlier, another elephant in the room is the problem of immigration.  I don’t have to outline what is taking place in our country about this problem.  It is a crisis we are all well aware of.  However, if I were to start to outline it here, It will need its own budget speech.

For today, it will suffice to say we have decided on a complete overhaul of the immigration system of the country.  Complete overhaul means exactly that. Work in this regard is well underway and we will soon unveil it.


Chairperson, we have long conceded to the problem of porous borders in our country.  You are aware that the implementation of the newly established Border Management Authority is well underway.  The Commissioner and his two Deputies are hard at work to establish the structure.  Recruitment of first cohort of Border guards has been completed and they will be brought in next week for onboarding, which includes an orientation programme and deployment to the selected areas of the borderline which are known to be problematic.  Their uniform with their own logo has been purchased together with other tools of the trade.  It is hoped that this cohort will be officially launched in the first days of the next quarter.

Presently the BMA is incubated as a branch in the Department of Home Affairs.  I wish to state that however it is on course to be declared a standalone schedule 3A Public Entity responsible for our borders, starting from the 1st April next year.


Chairperson, only 11 months ago, I came to the Portfolio Committee to introduce a Counter Corruption Unit of only 13 people headed by a DDG.  You have seen how in that short period the unit has outdone itself.

The number of arrest of Kingpins and Syndicates speaks for itself.  60% of the cases Counter Corruption is dealing with have to do with immigration issues, especially matters of permitting, which is a further testimony on why we need to completely overhaul the immigration system of the country.

Let me inform you that in the coming weeks we will continue to arrest more and more people, both foreign nationals and South Africans involved in passports fraud and other forms of identity theft as well as corruption.

Since the arrest of the Pakistani Kingpin of passports fraud on 24 March this year, the Counter Corruption unit cannot find time to rest. 

South Africans from all walks of life, including members of Parliament are reporting to them acts of fraud and corruption on a daily basis.  This is heart-warming and indicates that our people are tired of corruption.  We shall root it out without fear, favour or prejudice and we promise never to be intimidated or derailed by anybody.

The unit is not just reactive, it studies our systems and identifies loop-holes that encourage fraud and other acts of malfeasance and propose appropriate solutions.

Hence Chair, we are adding 12 new staff members to the Counter Corruption unit. They will include analysts, researchers and investigators.


Honourable Chairperson, when the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs visited GPW on two occasions for oversight, we reported to them that we wish to extend the footprint of the GPW by printing high security documents for our neighbours and other countries on the continent.

I am happy to announce that a lot of progress has been made.

  • GPW has delivered 60 000 copies of Namibian birth certificates.  It will also print Namibian marriage certificates, death certificates and Namibian Permanent Residence permits.
  • GPW has also printed 75 good shepherd college certificates, 1 435 University certificates and 29 Royal Eswatini Police Service certificates for Eswatini.
  • In terms of the pipeline, GPW has agreed with Kenya to print for them IDs, travel documents examination, materials and high security certificates.  Over the course of last year, GPW held discussions with institutions in Lesotho, Ethiopia and the DRC so that we serve them in a similar manner.

In 2022/23 the focus is on engagements with Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia.  The GPW remains one of few Government Entities that is self-financing and always making a profit, even during the harsh economic conditions imposed by Covid-19.


The IEC has concluded a review of the 2021 Local Government Elections.  The findings and experiences will be used in preparation for 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

Presently Parliament is hard at work to finalise the Bill for Independent candidates to participate in National and Provincial Elections for the first time in the history of the country.

The IEC is eagerly waiting for any consequential amendment that may be needed as a result of the passing of the Bill.  As the IEC makes these preparations we are proud that it achieved a clean audit in the financial year 2020/2021 and we believe it will continue to do so in the coming financial years.

Parliament is again ceased with the work of appointing a new Commissioner for IEC and subsequently recommend to the President the appointment of the Chairperson of IEC as the term of the last incumbent has lapsed.  We hope this is done speedily so that the IEC can continue its preparation with a full complement of Commissioners.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank my colleague, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Njabulo Nzuza, the DG of Home Affairs, Mr Tommy Makhode, the CEO of Government Printing Works, Mrs Alina Fosi, the Commissioner of Border Management Authority, Dr Mike Masiapato and the former chair of the IEC Mr Mashinini and its CEO Mr Mamabolo for very good working relations.

I also wish to thank the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs, Mr Mosa Chabane and Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee for very warm and extremely productive working relations.  This can only spell progress.

I am tabling for the consideration of this Honourable House an amount of R9,4 billion for budget vote number 5 - Department of Home Affairs.

Thank you.