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President Cyril Ramaphosa will have report on critical skills visa application process by April

Source: News24, 16/02/2022

Recommendations on the fast-tracking of the critical skills visa application process will be on the president`s desk by April.
• This was revealed by former home affairs director-general Mavuso Msimang, who was appointed to look into the process.
• Msimang and his team have been hard at work for the past five months.
The former director-general of home affairs, Mavuso Msimang, will, in the next two months, submit to the Presidency a report on a comprehensive review of the critical skills visa application process.
It will include recommendations on how to fast-track the sluggish critical skills work visa system, Msimang told News24.
`We have been working on this for the past five months or so. It`s a lengthy process,` Msimang added.
He said his team included `an expert on immigration from Deloitte, one person from Treasury and two individuals from the Presidency`.
They looked at efficient work visa processing systems in different countries and were trying to emulate the most feasible system that could work in South Africa.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: `A comprehensive review of the work visa system is currently under way, led by a former director-general of Home Affairs, Mr Mavuso Msimang.
`This review is exploring the possibility of new visa categories that could enable economic growth, such as a start-up visa and a remote working visa.`
He said the Presidency was coordinating the process, and he had been brought in on a short-term contract.
Msimang said: `There are six streams which the government needed to address and deal with, in order to improve the performance of the economy. One of it was trying to fast-track the issuing of visas for critical skills workers.
`What is the problem? The problem is, for example, when home affairs [is conducting] security checks on a person who is living in three countries before coming here, they would want police reports from all these countries. We are there for checking and realising that other countries in the application process may say they only want a police report from the last country where the person served or their country of origin.`
Msimang explained:
What we are expected to do is compare our system with what others are doing. So we look at efficient countries; we look at how long it takes for Kenyans or people in Singapore. We look for the best system, but [one] which is more or less like us in the sense that they are actually looking for experts, and then you see how long it takes and what conditions apply.
He continued: `And then you have people who come as a company to invest. They say: `I am going to establish a plant here in South Africa.` Let`s say it`s BMW and Mercedes; they bring foreigners here to run some of these things, and that`s called inter-company transfers.
`In such a situation, let`s say you have a CEO, who just has a normal degree and yet has been working at the company for 15 years. You can`t tell the company that their CEO needs some critical qualification. There is a special arrangement that is agreed upon,` Msimang added.
He said they were concluding the comparison process and would make recommendations on how to improve the country`s sluggish system.
He refused to be drawn in on the issue of whether Ramaphosa is in the process of implementing job reservation for South Africans.


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