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South Africa: Visa Centres Contribute to Job Creation
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 28, 2014

“… Instead, more jobs [have been and] will be created when visa applications increase,” said Apleni.
He said to date, 180 employees from the department have been placed at the centres to facilitate application processes.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced last month that VFS Global – a worldwide outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments – has been appointed to receive and manage visa and permit applications in South Africa.
VFS Global Chief Executive, Zubin Karkaria, said his company was committed to employing SA nationals at the centres to contribute to the country’s fight against unemployment.
Karkaria said: “So far, 4 000 applications have been received and we already received letters of appreciation from applicants.”
Minister Gigaba said his department was responsible for managing immigration effectively and securely to advance the socio-economic development of the country.
The minister added that it was critical for the country to upgrade security in the interest of citizens and foreign nationals in the country.
Improving applications
VFS Global has signed a contract of five years with the department to help improve service delivery through an effective queue management system and handling online applications.
The company is offering the same services to other 45 governments around the globe.
It has a mandate to automate the application processes, develop a solution for biometric intake in line with the immigration regulations, manage dedicated permitting call centres and deliver outcomes to clients efficiently and timely.
Although VFS Global is responsible for visa applications, the decision to either approve or reject applications lies with the department. A handling fee of R1 350 is set for all applications lodged and all other services.
Minister Gigaba said the current measures being introduced in the country add impetus to similar ones the department made in high volume missions such as Nigeria, China, Ghana, DRC, Angola and Kenya.
The new facilities are expected to decrease levels of corruption within the department, loss of application documents and receipt of incomplete applications.
“Unlike in the past, clients can now pay using electronic methods for both the handling fee for VFS and visa fees due to the state,” said Minister Gigaba.
He urged visa applicants to bear with his department and VFS Global as the system is still new and is bound to confront some technical glitches.
The department has 43 offices across the country, which will work collaboratively with the new centres.
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