High court intervenes to address giant backlog in South African Department of Home Affairs applications
On Thursday last week, the Western Cape High Court has set deadlines for temporary and permanent residency application outcomes.
This comes after major industry role players joined forces and went to court over hundreds of outstanding applications.
After negotiations between the parties at Cape Town’s court building on Thursday the 13th November an order was granted that, decisions on the applications have to be delivered within certain time frames. Outstanding permanent residency applications for instance are to be processed within 60 days.
One of the applicants joining the court case, a German applicant, applied for a permanent residence permit eight years ago. He also re-applied several times. Due to delays and mishaps at the Department of Home Affairs he had not received it by the time the court application was lodged.
The applicants took to court Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, the department’s director general and the director of immigration services in the Western Cape. The matter was expected to be heard in court on Thursday. However before the start of the court proceedings the parties negotiated among themselves.
“An advocate for the respondents Anwar Albertus SC, later told the court they were avoiding going into merits of the matter because they were trying to give certain undertakings in relation to the permit applications. Further ne,gotiations then followed. “ the Cape Times reports.
Administrative capacity was blamed as the main reason why the permits could not be processed in time.
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