All businesses to prioritise the hiring of a minimum of 60% South Africans citizens

Cape Town – All businesses – not just those in the hospitality or construction sectors – were required to have a workforce of at least 60 percent South African citizens in their employ, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has clarified.

Gigaba said his department was preparing for a “mass inspection” of businesses countrywide to ensure they complied.

“This has nothing to do with xenophobia, in fact xenophobic violence is what we want to prevent,” Gigaba said in an interview with the Cape Argus. “We must prioritise the employment of South Africans, and businesses across the board have to comply.”

Gigaba added: “The risk of not employing South Africans is that it endangers the lives of foreigners and the property of companies. If you look at the [xenophobic] violence that erupted in 2015, it started precisely because of a company at Isiphingo in Durban that employed non-South Africans, and South Africans attacked the company.”

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90 Visa Exempt Countries for South Africans in 2017

Those who wish to cross the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Ireland or Thailand off their travel bucket lists, are in luck, as the Passport Index of 2017 has declared the aforementioned countries along with an additional 87 countries to be visa-exempt.

The Passport Index edition of 2017 has been launched by the residency and citizenship solutions provider Arton Capital, which ranks the number of countries that can be visited without applying for a visa, by the measure of travel documents (passports).

Over 20 000 investors seek second residency or citizenship around the globe which had led for this specific investment to become a $US2 billion industry.

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INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRATION NEWS

FOREIGN TAX BUYING TO BE LIFTED – BRITISH COLUMBIA

Following President Donald Trump’s newly instated immigration bans, British Columbia in Canada announced that they will be lifting 15% foreign buyers tax for anyone who will be living in Metro Vancouver with a work permit.

This follows after the foreign buyers tax was implemented in July 2016, which had a skyrocketing effect on the market due to the decrease in residential real-estate sales and prices.

This seems to be an effort to encourage and welcome those who seek refuge around the world to work, stay, and pay taxes in B.C.  They believe that the ‘best and the brightest’ should be able to stay in B.C and this change in tax law aims to attract these individuals.

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Russian Nationals Not Yet Visa-Exempt From South Africa

Russian nationals have been warned that the introduction of the visa-free travel between South Africa and Russia of 90 days has not yet come into effect. This is due to South Africa still being busy with internal processes and the Department of Home Affairs will issue a directive once they are ready for the implementation.

There has been no official time-frame given, but the Russian Embassy expects the process to become effective by end of February 2017.

INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRATION NEWS

TRUMP FOLLOWS THROUGH ON CAMPAIGN PLEDGES

On Wednesday, 25 January 2017, The US President, Donald Trump took his first step to enact his pledge(s) by signing the executive orders to ‘Build a Wall’ on the Mexican border and to prevent sanctuary cities from offering protection to undocumented immigrants.

SAQA Fee Increase

SAQA released a statement of tariff increases that will also include changes in the administrative fees charged to process refunds. The evaluation of qualification tariffs will change from R950-00 to R1010-00 effective 1 January 2017.

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Department of Home Affairs: Contact Centre Launched

On 18 October 2016, the Department of Home Affairs launched a new and integrated contact centre to ensure that enquiries and complaints are dealt with efficiently and effectively.

Prior to the new system being implemented, there were a lot of public concerns on how queries were being managed and with many complaints of the telephone lines not being answered. The new system aims to improve the following items as identified –

  • Inadequate tracking and record keeping
  • Weak coordination and handling of queries among officials
  • Inconsistency with applying the standard operating procedures
  • Low compliance with service delivery standards

The Department of Home Affairs’ new contact centre will be operated by highly skilled officials and consultants with the necessary knowledge. The Contact Centre will enable the people of the public to lodge their complaints at a central point. All cases will be registered on a central case management system. The Department also endeavours that there will be consistent feedback as all the customer related services will be offered centrally at one branch.

It should be noted that the Department of Home Affairs are in the process of loading additional components of the National Population Register to enable maximum access to information of all the Home Affairs services. The National Identification System, The National Immigration System and the Movement Control System will be integrated within the upcoming months.

The Department of Home Affairs are set on measuring the complaints and compliments to improve the services that are being rendered to the public of South Africa.

You may contact the Contact Centre on 0800 60 11 90 or email hacc@dha.gov.za for any enquiries/complaints or compliments.

Blanket Concession for International Students Affected by the Current Student Protests

Blanket concession for international students affected by the current student protests.

For access to the download, please click here.

Carte Blanche – Visa Vitriol

The Department of Home Affairs introduced visa-handling service VFS in 2014 to streamline administration. But for foreigners – many of whom bring rare skills and investment into the country, applying to live and work in South Africa and complying with immigration regulations is still a nightmare experience. They report an expensive and cumbersome process in which the Department of Home Affairs allegedly rejects 40 percent of applications out of hand.

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Proposed amendments to Immigration Act will save jobs – James Vos

The recently tabled Draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations made under the Immigration Act by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), does nothing to address the loss of jobs in the tourism industry, including concerns raised by the tourism industry, government departments and opposition parties.

The Draft First Amendment is nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to address the serious problems with the current regulations and will result in the ultimate contraction of the tourism industry.

The reality is that no material changes will be affected by the error-ridden Draft. Rather, the wording of a few provisions have lazily been shifted around, in what can only be seen as an attempt to create the illusion of the DHA’s willingness to engage with criticism of its policies.

The contentious requirement that parents traveling to South Africa with their children must produce an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) has not been removed. Rather than actually change the regulations, it seems that the Department only reorganised the clauses, whilst the requirements essentially stay the same.

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