Certain home affairs offices have been singled out for attention because they are apparently hotbeds for fraud and corruption.
This was the message delivered by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba at a press briefing in Pretoria on the report about corruption at Marabastad Refugee Reception Office.
The report‚ released early last week by Lawyers for Human Rights (LRA) and the African Centre for Migration and Society‚ concluded that corruption in that particular area was serious.
Gigaba said the department felt there were weaknesses in the methodology used to compile this report; LRA and migration society spoke only to people outside the office and not to officials in the office.
The department had already acknowledged pockets of corruption and fraudulent activities in some of their offices. “We have measures in place for rooting out these transgressions‚” Gigaba said.
One of these measures is a multi-disciplinary response team dealing specifically with the Marabastad office. Another is the launch of an initiative called Operation Bvisa Masina which is isiVenda for “throw out the rot“.
“We are [hell]bent on cleaning the rot‚” said Gigaba.
He said 30 officials had been dismissed from the Marabastad office in the past two years.
The department is working to streamline processes to improve service delivery‚ root out corruption and eliminate loopholes in the document application process. Gigaba said the modernisation of the department was important in achieving these goals.
The network system is provided by an external provider and they have experienced connection problems since October last year. The department has held meetings to find a solution. “The continuous down-time at our offices leads to us failing to serve our clients‚” said Gigaba.