During a media briefing on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that a Ministerial Committee has been established to review all permits and visas that have been issued since 2004.
Motsoaledi said the committee was established after the department’s Counter Corruption Unit, which investigates wrongdoing by officials, noticed a trend in the outcomes of cases involving distinguished people.
The Minister reports that the Counter Corruption Unit had established that 66%, or nearly two out of every three reported cases, involved permitting.
Permanent residence permits (PRP), corporate visas, business visas, (professional) critical skills visas, retired persons visas, citizenship by naturalisation and study visas will be under investigation. The year 2004 was chosen as it was the year that the Immigration Act, Act number 13 of 2002, was effective.
Motsoaledi says the department is undertaking the review to ensure that each permit was issued to a person who qualified for it.
“Our immigration laws have to be implemented in a manner that facilitates economic development and encourages social stability. The expeditious and accurate issuance of these permits can contribute to growing the economy as we emerge from the impact of COVID-19. The Committee will also identify loopholes in our system and recommend improvements,” Motsoaledi said.
The Minister says that the Committee will be expected to present an interim report in three months and has already started its work.