The country desperately needs foreign investment. But companies that want to invest in SA need work visas for key personnel - and they're overburdened with overregulation and far too much red tape, says Busisiwe Mavuso.
Last week, the Department of Home Affairs reversed a disastrous decision it made in January to centralise all work visa applications in Pretoria without setting up processes and personnel to deal with the volumes, resulting in a backlog of nightmarish proportions.
Effective from 1 September, the function returned to diplomatic missions abroad in a refreshing reminder that government – sometimes – does listen to stakeholders and acts to rectify things. However, it has not clarified if applications already in the pipeline will still be processed in Pretoria or by the diplomatic missions. It also needs to go much further and adopt extra measures to accelerate the approvals process in countries with big backlogs.