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Date: 22/05/2012 PowerPoint Presentation
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Date: 22/05/2012

Date: 22/05/2012

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Date: 22/05/2012

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  1. PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF PORTS OF ENTRY AND ASYLUM SEEKERS MANAGEMENT Date: 22/05/2012

  2. TABLE OF CONTENTS: PORTS OF ENTRY BACKGROUND PORTS OF ENTRY MAP ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF DEPARTMENTS AT BORDER MANAGEMENT HOME AFFAIRS MANDATE ADMISSION PROCESS REQUIREMENTS DEPARTURE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS ADVANCE PASSENGER PROCESSING ENHANCED MOVEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM TRAVELLER STATISTICS INFRASTRUCTURE TRUSTED TRAVELLER PROGRAMME RATIONALISATION OF PORTS RSA (DHA) - CUBA COOPERATION PROGRAMME CHALLENGES

  3. BACKGROUND • The Republic of South Africa shares borders with six countries namely Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. • There are 72 designated ports of entry, 10 airports, 9 Harbours, 53 land ports. • Movement of persons and goods is managed efficiently and effectively through the participation of other border management stakeholders who have clear responsibilities at the port of entry and borderline.

  4. MAP REFLECTING THE LOCATION OF PORTS OF ENTRY 4

  5. BORDER MANAGEMENT STAKEHOLDERS • SANDF: For borderline and territorial protection and prevention of illegal entry and or departure • SAPS: Crime prevention, public order and enforce the law within and around ports of entry. • SARS: Enforce the Customs and Excise Act of 1964. • HEALTH: Controls and regulates cross border movement of medicaments and other health care products. • DAFF: Regulates the importation of animals; plants and their products. • PUBLIC WORKS: Provision of adequate infrastructure and maintenance.

  6. HOME AFFAIRS MANDATE • Facilitation of the legal entry and departure of all persons into and out of the Republic through a designated ports of entry. • Enforcement of compliance with the Immigration Act , Refugee Act and their Regulations by ensuring that all persons entering or departing do so lawfully and in compliant thereof. • Ensuring that all foreigners entering the country sojourn and reside consummate to the terms of and conditions of their permits • Track, trace and investigate, and deport foreigners who have become illegal or violated the immigration legislation of the country.

  7. ADMISSION PROCESS REQUIREMENTS • All travellers entering or departing from the Republic must be in possession of valid passports. • Travellers from visa required countries must apply and obtain a visa which will allow them to approach a port of entry. • Travellers from visa exempt countries do not need a visa to approach a port of entry. • At the port of entry the immigration officer will examine the traveller as prescribed in the Immigration Regulation and capture the details of the traveller through the Enhanced Movement Control System (EMCS). • The traveller’s passport in case of foreigner will be endorse with a temporary resident permit allowing him or her to proceed into the Republic consummate with the purpose of the visit and number of days qualified for. • In case of a non compliant with admission requirements traveller shall be refused admission and repatriated to country of residence. • In case of a “HIT” traveller shall be handed over to the relevant stakeholder to conduct further inquiries on the traveller

  8. DEPARTURE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS • All travellers departing from the Republic must be in possession of valid passports. • Travellers in case of foreigners must depart on or before the expiry of their temporary residence permit. • At the port of entry the immigration officer will examine the traveller as prescribed in the Immigration Regulation and capture the details of the traveller through the EMCS. • The traveller’s passport in case of foreigner will be endorse with a departure stamp. • In case of a non compliant with admission requirements traveller shall be informed in the prescribed manner of the transgression and assisted accordingly. • In case of a SAPS HIT the traveller shall be handed over to the police conduct further inquiries on the traveller.

  9. ADVANCED PASSENGER PROCESSING (APP) • The Advance Passenger Processing (APP) enables an airline to advise DHA of a person’s intended travel prior to the issuing of a boarding pass. The biographical data in the traveller’s passport, captured on check-in, forms the basis of this advice. • This data is sent to the APP system, which then performs checks against DHA’s data sources and the business rules in the system and returns a directive to the airline whether or not to board the passenger. • APP checks travellers against the DHA Visa and Entry Stop list (V-List), South African passports issued, Lost and stolen South African passports and South African visas issued to detect the status of a traveller before boarding as well as Interpol. • If a negative boarding directive is provided, the airline has an opportunity to consult the DHA Operational Centre (24 hours) in the Republic to verify the inadmissibility of the passenger. A Government override can be performed on a possible hit (when some of the data match those of a person on the data sources) and the person can be allowed to travel. • If the airline disregard the negative APP boarding directive, the traveller will be refused admission and the airline fined a prescribed amount and ordered to repatriate the traveller at own cost.

  10. ADVANCED PASSENGER PROCESSING (APP) • The APP is an additional layer of security (risk based approach) that enables us to perform pre-clearance on travellers, decrease the workload and associated risk involved with having to deny a person entry on arrival and serves as an early warning to DHA and other Departments of persons of interest on a particular flight to plan for interventions ahead of their arrival. • In terms of the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) Policy Framework, DHA took the lead in the implementation of APP on behalf of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster departments. • APP was implemented on 23 November 2009 in terms of the National Integrated Border Management Strategy (NIBMS) as a World Cup legacy Project and is in line with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) • Other users of the APP include: State Security Agency (SSA), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and South African Police Service (SAPS). • Airlines were progressively enrolled on the system after going through a test and certification process. Currently 43 out of the 47 airlines operating to South Africa are APP compliant.

  11. ADVANCED PASSENGER PROCESSING (APP) • The following benefits were derived from the APP: • For DHA • Over 790 prohibited and undesirable persons have been offloaded from flights; • Early warning was received in respect of more than 800 persons whose names appear on the Visa and Entry Stop list (V-list) for monitoring purposes; • Since passport checks were activated for certain segments of travellers on 11/11/2010, APP has denied travel for over 1907 travellers whose South African passports have been found to be either lost, stolen, cancelled or fraudulent. • SARS reported benefits on passenger alerts and successes relating to narcotic seizures. • The APP is essential for State Security Agency operations and reported successes include human trafficking syndicates.

  12. TRUSTED TRAVELLER PROGRAMME • The Trusted Traveller Programme is aimed at ensuring that regular reliable travellers are enrolled into system and travel into and out of the country hassle free more especially at land ports of entry. •  It is also meant to reduce traveller congestion at land ports of entry in the sense that travellers enrolled into the system will have a sort of self-check in and check out with minimal assistance and intervention from immigration officers as is currently happening. •  Immigration officer would monitor and manage the check in and check out to ensure compliance and adherence with legislation. • The design of the system solution will be finalised before the end of financial year.

  13. ENHANCED MOVEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM (EMCS) • At the Immigration desk, travellers that were allowed access to the country are processed by recording their arrival - by way of scanning travellers’ passports - onto the enhanced Movement Control System. • Immigration officials ensure illegal immigrants, stowaways, deserters and asylum seekers are dealt with in terms of the Immigration Act of 2002 as amended. • If a ‘HIT’ is generated it be that the traveller is an undesirable person, has overstayed on a previous visit, has an outstanding penalty against their name, or is travelling on a passport reportedly stolen or lost. • Immigration investigate the cause of the ‘HIT’ and depending on the risk; the traveller may be allowed passage into the country or be refused entry and be repatriated • Some ‘HITS’ are printed at the SAPS desk and SAPS interviews the traveller to determine the admissibility of the traveller. Travellers in transit also have their passports scanned and the same process of management of ‘HITS’ is followed.

  14. ENHANCED MOVEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM (EMCS) • A total of 47 ports of entry has been equipped with the EMCS. • The project is still on going to equipment the remaining 25 Ports of Entry with the EMCS system this current financial year. • The EMCS has improved the efficiency, security and turn round time on the admission processes in that traveller data is no longer captured manually but it is scanned into the system. • This automation data capturing exercise has improved the quality and accuracy of the information of the travellers being recorded by the Immigration Officer as is required by the Immigration Act. • The cost benefit of the EMCS are that other state departments and agencies such as SAPS,SARS and SSA can utilize the system on their respective functions. Information sharing amongst the said departments has improved. Accuracy of information captured has improved.

  15. TRAVELLER STATISTICS • BELOW IS THE TRAVELLER STATISTICS FOR 2011/12 FINANCIAL YEAR

  16. INFRASTRUCTURE • One of the key challenges at Ports of Entry remains the lack of suitable office and residential accommodation. • A total amount of R110 million has been allocated for infrastructure improvement at Ports of Entry through the Department of Public Works. • The Department provided infrastructure needs to the Department of Public Works to commence with identified priorities at land and maritime ports of entry. • This will improve and transform the infrastructure to ensure a suitable working environment, and that occupational health and other operational risks are managed.

  17. RATIONALISATION OF PORTS OF ENTRY • Within the border environment, South Africa is faced with a large number of Ports of Entry which are not always easily accessible, performing different functions, have different stakeholders represented, reflect large variations between the movement of travelers and goods, have different operational hours, are poorly resourced and faces infrastructure challenges. • This contributes to a poor state of security at our borders and Ports of Entry which at times facilitates both transnational syndicated crime and the presence of (undocumented) foreign nationals • This requires the strategic management of the South African border environment in a coordinated manner to create a workable balance between security, trade, tourism and economic development within the country and the SADC Region. • The Rationalisation of Ports of Entry will be supported by baseline research to develop criteria to designate a Ports of Entry, a risk profile and strategic information on the importance of each Port of Entry to inform the decision-making process. The results will improve the strategic and resource management in the border environment.

  18. RSA (DHA) – CUBA COOPERATION PROGRAMME • The President of the Republic of South African led a high level government delegation to Cuba during 2010 to enhance co-operation between the two countries and with regard to Home Affairs a technical support agreement was signed which will cover immigration issues. • The implementation of the agreement is done in a Phased approach where • Phase 1 included a diagnostic analysis of the Department and a report was provided to the Minister of Home Affairs after the visit of a Cuban Delegation in 2011. • Phase 2 of the programme included a Pilot Programme at OR Tambo International Airport. This phase focused on the recruitment of 350 Immigration Officials from the Department of Defence . These officials were jointly trained by DHA trainers and training specialists from Cuba after which they were successfully deployed to OR Tambo International Airport on 21 December 2011. • The implementation of the programme will continue with a focus on improvements in the Maritime environment.

  19. CHALLENGES • Guarding of borders: The porous nature of the borderline and coastline, and ineffective monitoring of land, air, rail and sea ports has contributed to inflow of illegal immigrants in undetected manner, however the JCPS cluster is attending to this matter. • Inadequate infrastructure improvement and maintenance. • Lack of capacity to operate an optimum level. • Regulations for amended Immigration Act are being reviewed introduced the following: • Landing Card • Compliance with APP for airlines • No change for conditions or status in the country except for medical reasons.

  20. Table of Contents: Asylum Seeker Management 1. Introduction 2. Processing of Newcomers – Regions 3. Top 5 countries of new arrivals 4. New arrivals 5. Status Determinations (Adjudications) 6. Extensions of existing Asylum seeker Permits (Jan-April 2012) 7. Refugee Appeal Board Cases – National 8. SCRA Cases (reviews) – National 9. Progress in terms of the implementation of the Refugee Amendment Act 10. Challenges 11. Way forward

  21. List of Acronyms RRO Refugee Reception Officer RSDO Refugee Status Determination Officer UNF Unfounded MU Manifestly Unfounded S22 Section 22 permit (Temporary Asylum Seeker permit) RAB Refugee Appeals Board SCRA Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs

  22. 1. Introduction • People seeking asylum either use a PoE whereby a Section 23 Permit is issued in terms of the Immigration Act or irregularly (jump borders) enters South Africa in order to seek asylum. • Refugee Reception Offices consider and process refugee asylum cases in line with the Refugee Act (1998) and issue various permits to regularize the stay of asylum seekers and refugees in the country. These include : • Section 22 issued to all asylum seekers with registered asylum claims. The permit is valid for 6 months whilst awaiting the finalization of the application. • Section 24 (refugee status) permits, is then issued to all those asylum seekers whose applications have been assessed and are found to be in need of this protection as per the Refugee Act (1998) . • Refugee Reception Offices also receive applications for refugee identity documents and refugee travel documents. • There are currently four Refugee Reception Offices in the country that are processing new comers, and providing services to asylum seekers and refugees. These are located in : • Musina (Limpopo) • Cape Town (Western Cape) • Durban (KwaZulu-Natal) • Marabastad (Tshwane - Gauteng)

  23. Introduction (Cont...) • In addition , a satellite office has been established in Pretoria to deal mainly with cases from closed Crown Mines office as well as the TIRRO project caseload. • The Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Office has not been processing new arrivals since 20 October 2011 .The office is currently finalising all pending cases that have been on their roll since October 2011 and transferring refugee files to the applicants Refugee reception Office of choice. The closure of the office is still being considered by the High Court • Cape Town received a court order to close the office in addition to the letter from the landlord to vacate the premises • To deal with the unprecedented demand for services the Refugee Reception Offices have introduced the nationality specific service days which work as follows.

  24. Introduction (Cont...) • RAB - Appeal process: • It is important to note that during appeal hearings, appellants are entitled to a fair hearing to present their cases fully. • The Appeal Board may after hearing an appeal confirm or set aside or even substitute the Refugee Status Determination Officers (RSDO). • SCRA - Review process: • In respect of manifestly unfounded applications, the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) reviews or confirms or sets aside decisions taken by the RSDO and refer cases back to RSDO for determination within 14 days the decisions of the RSDO.

  25. 2. Processing of Newcomers - Regions

  26. 3. Top 5 countries of new arrivals

  27. 4. New arrivals

  28. 5. Status Determinations (Adjudications)

  29. Status Determinations (Adjudications) continue

  30. Status Determinations (Adjudications) continue

  31. 6. Extension of existing Asylum Seeker Permits (Jan-April 2012)

  32. 7. Refugee Appeal Board Cases – Nationally (Jan – April 2012)

  33. 8. SCRA Cases (reviews) – Nationally

  34. 9. Progress in terms of the Implementation of the 2011 Refugees Amendment Act, state of readiness Finalizing the development of Regulations • Approval of the Regulations • Approval of eligibility forms Port of Entry • Enquiry by Immigration office • Provision of Interpretation services at PoE • Revised DHA 1590 available at PoE Establishment of Status Determination Committee • Committee is authorised to establish sub committee(s) to assist in considering and dealing with applications for asylum in terms of section 24. Decentralization of Refugee Appeals Authority • Conduct appeal hearings arising out of unfounded applications. • Each Refugee Reception office will accommodate one member who will adjudicate and grant decision. Overall Progress

  35. 9. Progress in terms of the Implementation of the 2011 Refugees Amendment Act, state of readiness Establishment of Director-General Review Committee • Consider applications for asylum which are rejected as manifestly unfounded. • Recommend applications for Refugee Status withdrawal, application for certification in terms of section 27 (c) and applications by spouse or dependant to remain in the Republic to the Minister for final decision. • Registration of children born to asylum seekers and refugees • An asylum seeker or a refugee whose child is born in the Republic must, within one month of the birth of his or her child register such a child in terms of the Birth and Death Registration Act. • After this process has been completed then the parent can approach the Refugee Reception Office and include the child in the file of the main applicant. Overall Progress

  36. 9. Progress in terms of the Implementation of the 2011 Refugees Amendment Act, state of readiness • The content of the draft policy addresses the mechanisms to differentiate between economic migrants with low skills and asylum seekers • The department is in the process of consulting with critical stakeholders for inputs and comments. Policy Development

  37. 10. Challenges • The least number of refugee status granted is a clear indication of the abuse of the asylum regime by the economic migrants • The existence of a backlog at both SCRA (66 000) and RAB (74 000) levels resulting in a high number of extensions of permits (S22) and protracted process to finalize applications • Currently the department has 9 300 IDs and 1678 Travel Documents that are still pending---a process to fast track the issuance of these documents has been developed • The unsuitable office infrastructure and office location that has resulted in court orders to close some of these Refugee Reception Offices

  38. 11. Way forward During the 2012/13 financial year the following has been prioritized : • Roll out the implementation of Docu- File system to improve the filing at all RROs • Develop a mechanism to address backlogs on the finalization of asylum applications especially at RAB and SCRA levels • Develop a framework to guide the establishment of strategically located Refugee Reception Offices • Engage in bilateral negotiations with neighboring countries on the management of secondary movements. • Participate in the regional interventions aimed at improving the management of asylum seekers and refugees • Contemplate opening more Refugee Reception Offices along the borderlines

  39. Ngiyathokoza Ke ya leboga Dankie Ngiyabonga Inkomu Thank you Ke a leboha Ndiyabulela Ke a leboga Ndi khou livhuha