Home Affairs catches up on permit backlog

2011-02-21 15:22

The work, study, business and residence permit backlog at the home affairs department will be a thing of the past at the end of March, said the department’s director-general, Mkuseli Apleni.

Addressing a media conference in Pretoria today, he said the department had a backlog of 38 039 in November last year. This excluded applications by Zimbabweans.

After centralising the process, the department has managed to deal with 1 600 applications per day or 8 000 applications per week.

The backlog currently stands at 13 677 applications.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that all permits are attended to expeditiously to enable applicants to lead normal lives without the constant fear of arrest or deportation,” Apleni said.

“We recognise that most of these applicants contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of our economy and our country. We have to do everything to ensure that such skills are retained in the country.”

Apleni explained that the department had “assumed full control over all permit applications” submitted at regional offices countrywide.

It has implemented a “proper filing system where all permits are held according to province, office, category and date”.

This enabled the department to issue permit renewals in all categories within 48 hours.
People can now check the status of their applications through the Track & Trace facility on the department’s website.

Officials manning the department’s 24 hour call centre are able to handle enquiries related to permits. An in-house courier service has been established for the receipt and dispatch of permits.

Home Affairs head of permits, Jacob Mamabolo, told journalists that 66 000 of the 275 000 Zimbabwean applications received by the department have been adjudicated.

The remainder will be handled before then end of June, he said.

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