Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the department is enforcing transit visas on some foreign travellers in efforts to stop frauduent activities. This follows reports of corruption linked to Pakistani and Bangladeshi travellers’ transit through South Africa.
Passports can only be collected by the person who applied for them – with the document being activated by the applicants’ fingerprints.
Motsoaledi explains the importance of tightening rules around passport applications.
“The best way to deal with it, is to make sure that people who are in transit have to get transit visas. But we cannot make it a general rule because the people who were doing this were found to be coming from Pakistan and Bangladesh,” Motsoaledi says.
“So, we said for people coming from those two countries – even if they are transiting through the airport – they have to apply for transit visas whether they transit through the airport or not.”
Watch Minister Mostoaledi speak on transit visa 13 August 2022:
Digitisation of records
Earlier this week, Motsoaledi announced the digitisation of records – dating back to the 1800s – will make work processes easier for the Department. R2,4billion has been budgeted to help digitise around 350-million records.
Motsoaledi says the project will help create jobs for 10 000 unemployed youth.
“We are talking here of 350-million files that they must digitise. They start from 1895 – files of birth, IDs, passports, marriages, death – all of them are stored all over Tshwane in archives. Some of the records are fading away and we are going to lose them.
So, their job is to sit down and digitise them so that we have digital record because they are on fingerprint and that would make work easier at Home Affairs,” the minister adds.
Minister Motsoaledi on the digitisation of records,11 August 2022: