PRETORIA, Firm emphasis will continue to be placed on ridding the South African Department of Home Affairs (Interior) of corruption, says the Minister, Hlengiwe Mkhize.
She reiterated here Tuesday her commitment to making sure that she runs a clean operation and her pledge to redouble efforts to clearing the department of all forms of corruption and fraud.
We will work hard to ensure that there is no fraud, bribery and corruption. This will create conditions for economic growth and creative solutions to social problems, she said during a roundtable discussion on repositioning the Department of Home Affairs.
Mkhize said the department had been on an improvement trajectory for the last 10 years and much progress had been made at many levels — from policy and legislation, to systems and establishing a more client-centred culture.
This has gained public confidence and most citizens and other clients are happy with the basic routine services they receive, such as being issued a smart ID card or a passport. The turnaround times for visas, and to an extent permits, has improved, Mkhize said.
However, she cited out-of-date technology and a shortage of supervisors and technicians as some of the ongoing challenges. She said older records are held in unsuitable warehouses or captured on defunct systems.
While fully digital systems have been installed in the department’s 179 offices, Mkhize said queues were often too long because of network issues. This was something the department would work hard to change, she added.
I commit that we will do better and show you our plans. We hope to convince the nation of the need to invest in a secure, modern Home Affairs that is staffed with professionals, said Mkhize, who envisions a Home Affairs Department which can secure and maintain a digital platform, which is essential for the development of e-government and e-commerce.
South Africa needs a nation and a State that are capable of surviving and thriving in the new world.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK