Hon Chairperson, my colleague Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, hon Njabulo Nzuza, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, the hon Bongani Bongo, hon members of the portfolio committee, the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, Mr Glen Mashinini, the
representative of the chief executive officer, CEO, of the Government Printing Works, Ms Michel Modise, hon members of this House, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow South Africans, good afternoon. Mme Tebogo Mokwele, please be governable until I finish my speech.
It is a great honour and privilege to present to this House the 2019-20 home affairs budget and in the process to outline our plans. Every human being found within the borders of the Republic of South Africa will at some time or another, need the Department of Home Affairs, unless such an individual deliberately and for some sinister motive, decides to exist in contravention of the laws of the country.
Hence the Department of Home Affairs has two main arms that define its functions. The two arms could be described broadly as the civic matters and also as the immigration matters. I have just realised since coming to the Department of Home Affairs that many people believe home affairs means immigration and immigration only and this is misleading and unfortunate.
Hon Chairperson, actually the civic matters of home affairs is the biggest and the most active. This is because any individual who once
to live a stable, productive and trouble free and beneficial life within the confines of the law, such an individual has to be serviced by the Home Affairs Department. At least three times within their life time.
Of course, it will be four times for those who decide to get married.
Your first ever interaction with home affairs is when you arrive into this world through the Republic of South Africa. Home affairs must record your arrival and put you on the population register. This is done by awarding you a birth certificate to proof that you have arrived. This document will indicate who you are, when did you arrive, where in the country did you arrive and who gave birth to you.
On this document, home affairs also awards you a number, denoted as your identity which will help in all your transactions and interactions with the state, the corporate world and fellow human beings until you depart this planet.
Your second interaction with home affairs is of course, when you turn 16 and you take an ID.
Your third one is when you get married.
Your fourth and last interaction with home affairs is when you depart this planet, because home affairs must record that indeed you have left and never to return. This is called the death certificate.
Because of our relationship with the rest of the world, some of us need the fifth interaction with home affairs, which is when you are awarded a passport.
I have deliberately detailed these interactions that people might regard as obvious, but for two reasons. Firstly, to remind you what home affairs is mainly about, but secondly, to warn that this seemingly interactions with home affairs while necessary may sometimes turn into horror - absolute horror.
I am talking here of the type of horror that may turn your life upside down. It may bring your life to an absolute standstill or even force your life into a tailspin.
Today in this budget speech, I want us to travel together on a journey to make sure that the five interactions of our people in this country with the Department of Home Affairs are pleasant and as
pleasant as they could be. We need to work together to eliminate possibilities of unpleasantness.
It may be essential for me to outline some of the issues that may turn one's life upside down and make it unpleasant. Your identity might be wrongly recorded and you become a person you do not know. Somebody might steal your identity and practically steal your life by impersonating you. Somebody may steal your document and commit crimes in your name. You may be married to a total stranger you have never met before.
For those who never went through these experiences, it might be difficult for them to comprehend what I am trying to convey, but for those who went through these horrors, no explanation is necessary for them to understand what I am trying to say, for they have lived it.
Today I have brought two South Africans into this House which I wish to introduce. We have Ms Thami Swartbooi. May Thami stand up please and greet the House, yes. Thank you ma'am. Thami took her ID in 1995 and lived a normal life like any of us. She stays in Vereeniging in Gauteng. In 2004 things turned very horrible for her. Another woman, staying a thousand kilometers in Nelson Mandela Bay, stole her
identity and resumed life as Thami Swartbooi. This meant that whatever that woman did, was regarded by law as having done by Thami. I can assure you she did a lot of bad things.
Even when this other woman got married, the law regarded Thami as the one who got married. Thami received summonses of debts she never knew about. Two kids which she never met before were registered as hers in legal documents. She could not officially got married because the law would not allow anybody to marry twice unless in the case of divorce or death. She could not open accounts because she was supposed to be heavily indebted. Her life went into a tailspin and a virtual halt. She lived this horror for 14 years.
Fortunately, we reached to Thami when the story was reported in the media and we gave her back her identity within a period of 48 hours. She is now living as she should and this happened a month ago. [Applause.]
I went to apologise to her a month ago on behalf of the state. Today, I wish to apologise once more in this august House as a sign that we will never allow this to happen to any other woman. We have asked her to become an ambassador of home affairs on identity fraud and fraudulent marriages. We want to work with her to identify women
who are already living in the situation that she went through. She has very humbly agreed to work with us. As to the evil woman that did this to her, we are on a trail, she has to be locked in very soon. Thank you very much Thami. I am very sorry once more.
Chairperson, with regard to fraudulent marriages, annually the department come across an average of 2 000 such fraudulent marriages. From April 2018 to date, the department came across 2 132 fraudulent marriages. Of these 1 060 were truly and indeed fraudulent and the department annulled them. However, 464 were found to be legitimate and the department refused to expunge such marriages from the register. These are called marriages of convenience. There are people in our country who marry for convenience. This happens between a South African and a nonSouth African. The South African is rewarded with huge sums of money and a nonSouth African gain easy citizenship through the marriage.
There is a mistaken believe that when transactions through such marriages have been completed, you just approach home affairs and you demand that the marriage be expunged. I wish to warn people today that home affairs cannot do that. We cannot just expunge a marriage because you no longer need it. If you do not need a
marriage you go to a magistrate or a judge. They must cancel that marriage through normal divorce proceedings and not home affairs.
The marriages that are truly fraudulent like the 1 060, I have spoken about, can happen for three reasons. Firstly, fraud syndicates consisting of home affairs officials and other marriage officers outside home affairs.
Secondly, employment agencies who ask you for your ID because they are going to look for a job for you and you provide everything to them instead of giving you a job; they sell your documents to somebody to marry you without your knowledge.
Thirdly, when there is a duplicate identity like it happened to Thami, when somebody impersonate you.
Of the original 2 132 fraudulent marriages we are still left with
326 which are still investigating.
Our second guest is Ms Esther Sihlabela from Hazyview in Mpumalanga. She has four children, but the records show she has seven children. She does not know the other three children, but they appear on her records nonetheless. What is more heartbreaking is that her last
born son whom is here today - Esther, can you stand up. Yes, ntate [Father.] [Applause.] She is with her son today as you can see, he is 20- year-old. He was born in March 1999, but home affairs could not give him a birth certificate not even an ID right up to the age of 20, because there was a believe that Esther gave birth to another bay boy in December 1999 and it was argued that she could have delivered another baby three months later which biologically is true, but the fact of the matter is that she never delivered in December. This boy who is standing up had no certificate or ID for 20 years. He had to write his matric through affidavits. Even the police could not help Esther.
She on her own and I can tell you she is my hero stood up to do an investigation. Eventually she made a breakthrough. She found out about these three children who are appearing on her documents. Unfortunately they were not South African. One of them has literally replaced her own son for a period of 20 years.
It is only through co-operation of rogue elements within home affairs that such a thing could happen. Home affairs officials could be placed in this situation. Such co-operation from home affairs can only be secured through a bribe. We are busy following up to find out which scoundrel at home affairs could do such an inhuman act to
put somebody's life in such terror for 20 years just because they wanted money.
Two weeks ago, after hearing the story of Ms Thami Swartbooi and how we solved it within 48 hours Dr colleague of mine phoned me and told me the story of Esther. That is how I came across her. I called her and we solved her son's birth date problem within 24 hours and his ID problem within five days. I do not wish this to happen to any South African. As such we are asking both Esther and Thami to be our ambassadors and help us.
We have analysed this problem and as the department came to a conclusion that if we have to deal with this matter of identity fraud, the real solution lies within having everybody having a document right from birth. Hence Chairperson, we are planning with Minister Zweli Mkhize the Minister of Health whereby no child will leave a hospital without a birth certificate, an unabridged one which reflects an ID and who the parents are. Please do not ask me about what am I going to do with runaway fathers? Those are not farther, but just baby makers. So, we are going to go on with this project regardless of them
Out of the 4 000 health facilities in the country, 1 445 can deliver babies. Unfortunately at the present moment, only 391 can issue birth certificates at birth. So, our plan is that all of them and according to this roll out plan, by March 2021 we will have finished connecting 251 health facilities which are simple for 84% for 84 births in our country. By 2023, we will have completed all 1 445 of them.
When this is done, we will call upon all parents, home affairs officials, hospital authorities and you as leaders and other leaders of society, never to allow anybody in South Africa to leave a hospital without a printed an authentic birth certificate.
When this happens, the Ms Swartbooi's and Ms Sihlabela's of this world and their children will cease to suffer the horrors that put their lives on hold.
Home affairs, is not only going to rely on proper birth certificates right from the beginning, to stop this forgery and fraud. No, we have already started other measures. The major one is that every home affairs official who has to issue an official document, be it birth certificate, ID, passport, marriage certificate or death certificates can only access the system through their password and
fingerprints. The system is called Biometric Access Control Management System, BCAM. With this system, no home affairs official can ever claim that their password or fingerprints has been stolen. Because that is what they tell us when we confront them with passwords, but nobody can steal your fingerprints. I do not know under what conditions can it ever happen.
Every home affairs official who is empowered to issue these documents will have to register on this biometrics. We are taking this precaution so that in future, I no longer have to introduce the type of women I have introduced to you. However, we are still left with women who are still in this situation and want to be helped to identify and help them.
Hon Chairperson, because this issue of identity is so important to the country and to all South Africans, but the issue of fraud and forgery spoils it. At the dawn of democracy, South Africans were issued a green barcoded ID. Unfortunately, this was easy to forge and easy to fraud as I have indicated.
In 2013, the department introduced a smart ID card which looks like a credit card. I can assure you as I am standing here forging or defrauding a smart ID card is next to impossible. Since 2013, we do
not know any case maybe the thugs are still learning in future, but for now they have not yet found the method. So, every South African needs to have it.
When the department started in 2013, we identified 38 million South Africans who had to migrate from the green ID to the smart card. Until now, 13 million South Africans have been migrated to the smart ID, but we are still left with 25 million. To this number we add it to our children who turn 16 every year.
There only 412 home affairs offices in the country. Unfortunately issuing a smart ID card, because of its sophistication cannot be done in an ordinary office. You need a special equipment to do so. Unfortunately, out of the 412 offices we only have 193 which can issue the smart ID card. So, we are going to add 26 more to have 219 and continue in that way.
Hon Chairperson, banks in South Africa also want all their clients to also have a smart ID card because they have discovered that it is not easy to forge it. Banks in South Africa lose R50 million per annum to identity fraud. So, they have discovered that when their clients are on a smart ID such fraud does not happen. Hence banks are working with us on a purchasing power parity, PPP, whereby
clients of every bank need not go to home affairs to queue anymore. You just apply online to your bank and then they will call you and then take biometrics and send it to home affairs. We are still in control of that. They just help us.
Unfortunately at the moment, only 13 branches of banks in South Africa can offer this service. Twelve of them are in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. For the other provinces they will have to wait for the next financial year. We will add 25 more bank branches this year and 70 next year.
Chairperson, today we have brought trucks and they are waiting outside. We are giving you an opportunity to apply for your smart ID. Ordinarily, we take 13 days to issue you with a smart ID or a passport, but hon members; I am promising you, if you apply today we will issue you with your smart ID in the next 48 hours. This is possible, because as a Members of Parliament, we are a small number in a confined space. So, it is easy to serve you within 48 hours. Guests in the gallery can use this service, for anybody can use it. However, I advice you not to do it because you will not be here within the next 48 hours.
What the guests rather do, I will give you the list of the banks you can go to. The Absa Lifestyle in Centurion, FNB Lifestyle in Centurion, Standard Bank in Centurion, FNB the Grove in Pretoria East, Nedbank Arcadia in Arcadia, Pretoria, Absa Towers in Johannesburg CBD, Killarney Standard Bank in Killarney Mall, Standard Bank, Simmons Street in Johannesburg, Lakeview Nedbank in Roodepoort, Nedbank Rivonia in Rivonia, FNB Merchant in Sandton and Standard Bank Canal Walk in Cape Town. For those who stay in far forbidden places like me in Limpopo, sorry for now, wait for the next list of banks.
With regard to digitisation, Chairperson, I want to advice that home affairs have 286 million records in our archives that stretch back from 1900. These are archives of IDs and marriage certificates, etc. Now, these are very important. We have started the job of degitising them. Up to now, we have degitised only 5 million. It is very common at home affairs to get somebody applying to get wolt copies of unabridged documents from 1940 and 1950, etc. We have got them, but unfortunately they are on paper and the ink is starting to fade that is why we are busy degitising them. It will take us quite a number of years, but we have started.
While the Department of Home Affairs is doing identification, but we also do economic development by issuing visas, out of 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations, UN, 75 have got visa free status in South Africa. Of these 16 are in our continent and are Southern African Development Community, SADC, countries. The other 59 are all over the world.
Today, I wish to make this announcement, we are adding seven more countries for visa free status. That is Qatar, United Arab Emirates, UAE, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Ghana, So Tom and Prncepe.
We will immediately enter into discussion with these countries as to what a visa free regime from them will look like and how we are going to work with them. We still have homework for the three main countries that account for 30% of the population of the world. That is India, China and Nigeria. Today, I am announcing that we are sending we are rather increasing by two and half times the staff in China, India China and Nigeria who are going to process our visas.
The President also announced the issue of E-visa during the two states of the nation addresses. We have started with the E-visa system. We are testing it at Lanseria Airport. We will finish the testing in October; from there we roll it out where you do not have
to get the visa. You just apply and we respond to you via email you rush to the airport and you are in the plane.
With regard to the border management, for now I wish to talk about it. The Border Management Authority Bill was passed by this House and unfortunately it got stuck in the NCOP for the past two years. Our job is now to go and unstuck it because it is very important. Border management is not only about people, it also mages counterfeit goods, stolen cars, hijacked children and all sorts of wrong things that happen in our borders. We are going to try and deal with that.
We are also trying to establish one stop centres at six border posts. That is Beitbridge, Ficksburg, Kopfontein, Lebombo, Oshoek and Maseru. That is between Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana nad Zimbabwe.
With regard to the Government Printing Works, many people believe all state- entities are losing money and cannot be managed. I can today tell you that the state-printing works which is a government under public works is one of the shining stars. It has been funding itself for the past six years. Actually, it sends profits back to Treasury. In the last financial year, after paying its 500
employees, it will hire 105 extra employees, it will purchase equipment to the value of R517 million and still be left with the profit of R153 million which they will send it back to Treasury for all of you. So, we wish to thank the Government Printing Works and we have started helping other countries. Last week we have just signed a relationship with Eswatini. Two weeks ago, I was in Namibia, because we believe we have enough expertise to print documents for them. We drew valuable lessons from experiences of innovators in the ID4Africa.
Now, let me take this opportunity to thank colleagues Deputy Minister for a warm working relationship and for the director- general, DG, and his team for a warm working relationship. Also in the gallery, we have managers from Randburg, Mr Lekalakala and from Pretoria, Ms Ntamela. We also have Ms Mkhupheka from the Scottsburg offices who are our excellent performers. We thank them very much. [Applause.]
Chairperson, building collectively world class home affairs will indeed advance the goal of growing South Africa together; a South Africa of justice, equity and prosperity for all.
I take this opportunity to table for the consideration of this House, the 2019-20 budget of R8,3 billion. Thank you very much. [Applause.]