HANIS to be phased out by 2021: Cwele

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The Department of Home Affairs says its National Identification System (HANIS) will operate until 2021 as part phasing out for the new system currently being implemented.

In 2018, the department launched its new system called the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS).

The aim of the system is to consolidate the capturing of data for both South Africans and foreign nationals into a single base.

Acting Director General Thulani Mavuso says the aim is to allow for a seamless handing over before the new system is fully implemented.

“We want HANIS to run our system until at least 2021. But also we want HANIS to run parallel with ABIS so when ABIS comes alive, they will be able to replicate the data on both production systems to ensure that we do not have a situation where if HANIS as a system has some glitches then we have a total shutdown. So, they will run parallel for proper handover. So, that is why we are giving the period to 24 months.”

Review of foreign nationals status 

The Minister of Home Affairs  Siyabonga Cwele says he has given directives for the review of the status of all foreign nationals who are running businesses in the country, including religious leaders.

Cwele says recent scandals committed by church leaders coming from other countries under the guise of doing businesses in the country, requires more assessment on their status.

“There are conditions for being granted their statuses not only from this gentleman. There are many now of these things in the public for example these priests who come from foreign countries to do the work here. We have then asked the department to do that review of their status because if you come here and you say you come here to run a factory. There is no factory called a church. A church is not a business in South Africa. So, those are the things the department is dealing with.”

Lindela Repatriation Centre

The Minister says they have requested the liquidators of the defunct Bosasa Company to give assurances that the operations at the Lindela Repatriation Centre are not disrupted by the expected liquidation process.

In February, Bosasa, now known as Global Operations, had announced that the company is under the voluntary liquidation.

The company has been managing the Lindela Repatriation Centre under the Department of Home Affairs.

Cwele told the Portfolio Committee that he expects an answer from the liquidators before resorting on any further steps.

“Our main worry is this voluntary liquidation of a company, which is not insolvent and two that this was a purpose built contract to provide this facility and our many concerns is that as the state we should not be left in disarray by whatever liquidation processes so that we don’t have a place of detention of the illegal foreigners. Yesterday (Monday), I wrote to the liquidators which are Mr Markman and Mr Marai stating our concerns. We will submit chair, the letter which we wrote basically putting to them terms that they should respond to by tomorrow (Wednesday) giving us assurance that our operations won’t be disrupted by any liquidation process.”