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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Home Affairs a byword for corruption, long queues and inefficiency

In court papers, Leon Isaacson, an immigration practitioner since 2007, said that 10 years ago, residence applications were handled in less than six months.


There can be few better, two-word phrases to sum up South African state incompetence and inertia than “home affairs”. The department is a byword for corruption, long queues and inefficiency. Now, it emerges, it is also potentially stifling economic growth by slowing down the already long and tedious process for permanent residence permits. In doing so, it is not only delaying the arrival of badly needed skills possessed by potential immigrants, but is also preventing those immigrants bringing with them millions of US dollars each in potential investments. According to local immigration practitioners – who are now desperately trying to…

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There can be few better, two-word phrases to sum up South African state incompetence and inertia than “home affairs”.

The department is a byword for corruption, long queues and inefficiency.

Now, it emerges, it is also potentially stifling economic growth by slowing down the already long and tedious process for permanent residence permits.

In doing so, it is not only delaying the arrival of badly needed skills possessed by potential immigrants, but is also preventing those immigrants bringing with them millions of US dollars each in potential investments.

According to local immigration practitioners – who are now desperately trying to get the courts to intervene – the shambles at home affairs could be costing the economy between R10 billion and R15 billion a year.

In court papers, Leon Isaacson, an immigration practitioner since 2007, said that 10 years ago, residence applications were handled in less than six months. Now, they take up to six years.

Estimates are that as many as 180 skilled and wealthy people are waiting for their requests to be processed.

Yet, the government continues to dither with border control policy, allowing South Africa to have some of the most porous borders in the world and a tsunami of illegal immigration.

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