Home affairs warned about outsourcing

2012-08-14 21:51
Home Affairs director general Mkhuseli Apleni (File, Sapa)

Home Affairs director general Mkhuseli Apleni (File, Sapa)

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Cape town - Members of Parliament have asked home affairs to re-consider plans to outsource its functions.

Parliamentarians from across the political divide were responding to home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni, who briefed them on Tuesday about a new system for foreigners to apply for temporary and permanent residence permits.

Apleni told MPs the department was looking at employing a courier company to collect permit applications from provincial front offices and take them to a centralised office in Johannesburg to be processed.

"This way we can control things properly. You won't have permits done everywhere," he said.

The move was part of the department's plan to clear backlogs in the issuing of permits.

Apleni told MPs the department had cleared the backlog in the issuing of temporary work permits, which stood at 46 076 in December. The backlog for permanent residence permits stood at 11 239.

"By December we'll clear it," Apleni said.

MPs noted the improvements in clearing backlogs, but warned it was a bad idea to outsource. One MP said it would be difficult to hold people accountable should a private courier company not deliver.

"We've not seen any progress by privatising these kind of functions," Democratic Alliance MP Masizole Mnqasela said.

Home affairs portfolio committee chairperson Maggie Maunye concurred.

"I have serious concern with outsourcing of services," she said.

Apleni said he would take MPs' concerns back to his department for consideration.

Read more on:    home affairs

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