A significant number of foreigners, whose applications for a long-term visa had been submitted by their Mission abroad to Pretoria for processing, may see a silver lining on the horizon after all.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron “Never at Work” Motsoaledi, had finally realised that the centralised processing of all long-term visa applications in Pretoria created a massive backlog as the local staff was not able to cope with the number of applications, and therefore he reversed his decision at the end of August so that long-term visa applications may be processed at the South African Missions abroad again.
But it took him another two whole months (!) to realise and subsequently to admit that since January this year the “… Missions have (…) been unable to transmit visa applications for adjudication to Head Office, Pretoria timeously.” And that this “… resulted in the outcomes relating to the applications received not being provided in time to the applicants.” … Wow, it took him two full months to admit what became obvious long ago!! But it got even better what had now been directed in IMMIGRATION DIRECTIVE NO. 15 of 2022, dated 31 October 2022:
“In order to ensure that the applicants receive outcomes timeously, the Department has decided to grant permission to officials at Missions to adjudicate and finalise all visa applications received between 12 January and 31 August 2022, provided that they did not forward same to Pretoria already.”
This Minister, who should long have been axed, but who is glued to his position under the protective hands of Dr “Evil” Gwede “Untouchable” Mantashe, is driving his Department from Disaster to Disaster. He has lost totally lost control and has no answers on how to deal with the backlog he recklessly created but continues to issue Directive after Directive that rather aggravates the situation than mitigates it.
So, if you are lucky and your application falls in this time window and your Mission abroad did not submit it to Pretoria, then and only then the application may be finalised at the Mission. But this will not at all lead retrospectively to any timeous finalisation, nor does it in any way address the 50 000+ applications. And even worse: it is unclear to which extent the Missions have dispatched all those visa applications and if they are able to address a significant number of the applications during the above time period.
We fear that this Directive will only benefit a very few applicants, but are certain that the Minister could not care less.