/ 20 December 2022

Aaron Motsoaledi (Grade E)

Aaron Motsoaledi
Home Affairs Minister Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.(Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images)

Home Affairs

Key Goals

1. Revamp the immigration system: Failed
2. Address the backlog of the asylum and refugee appeals: Failed
3. Minimise the time that systems are offline to address long queues: Failed
4. Implement the Border Management Authority: Progress


What should have been a good public relations event,when Motsoaledi issued smart ID cards to a 103- and a 99-year-old in September was a reflection of the lethargic rate at which his department moves.

The country welcomed 200 border guards in July as part of the department’s Border Management Authority, which is yet to be fully established. A date has been set for next year — 1 April 2023. 

Motsoaledi acknowledged the never-ending queues at home affairs’ offices and immigration as the “two elephants in the room” during his budget vote. But acknowledgement means little when it does not lead to action. 

Long queues continue to mark home affairs buildings as problems such as offline systems, maladministration and limited resources persist. 

Claims of corruption and fraud were proved valid when the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation arrested about 30 people, including public officials, who were allegedly part of a syndicate selling forged passports

The second “elephant” is migration. 

In November, parliament’s oversight committee on home affairs heard that about 15 million people, including South Africans, do not have a legal identity. And, of the 133 582 asylum and refugee appeals backlog, only 450 decisions had been made, and 284 incomplete files returned to home affairs, since 2021. 

Furthermore, 180 000 perfectly legal Zimbabweans on Zimbabwe Exemption Permits will be made illegal by Motsoaledi and the mass deportation will commence in June next year.

Anti-immigration group Operation Dudula continues to fuel disunity, making migrants the scapegoats for poor or no service delivery, unemployment and poverty.  

At the beginning of the year, Motsoaledi announced a “complete overhaul of the immigration system”. No definite plans were set out and no plans have yet surfaced to start the process. 


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