Home Affairs online project will cost R2.2bn

2011-02-23 14:27

Treasury has allocated R2.2 billion over five years for the Department of Home Affairs’ Who Am I Online project, which has been stalled by a legal dispute with GijimaAST, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his Budget today.

“Although only partial funding has been allocated for the project, National Treasury has approved the business case for the total lifecycle cost of R2.2 billion beyond the MTEF period.”

The department suspended a contract with GijimaAST after it emerged that it was awarded R4.5 billion, though the tender limit had been R1.9 billion.

GijimaAST threatened legal action, but is currently in the final stages of talks with the department, Treasury and the SA Revenue Service towards an out-of-court settlement, according to Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

She expressed frustration last week that the dispute had forced her department to put on hold plans to set up an integrated IT system to process identity documents, birth and death certificates, visas, work permits and passports online.

Dlamini-Zuma said a settlement was imminent, but denied reports that the state had agreed to a R2 billion pay-off for GijimaAST.

Gordhan confirmed that, to date, R390.4 million has been spent on the stalled project.

Home Affairs’ other allocations in Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure document show that streamlining immigration processes and regularising the status of immigrants from southern Africa remain a top priority.

The department’s immigration budget of R587 million will be spent on extending the special dispensation of documenting illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe to other nationals in SADC, overhauling immigration management and facilitating entry for foreign nationals with special skills.

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