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Home Affairs warns against fraudsters

Fraud Alert:

Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has warned members of the public not to fall for hoax email messages from fraudsters who claim they work for the department.

“The department did not post any message on social media asking people to contact the Director-General about pending applications for permits, visas, or identity documents, for cash.

“We have an official website, www.dha.gov.za; 408 offices across the country and have also extended our office footprint in South Africa’s four major banks – Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank, as well as visa facilitation centres run by VFS Global.

“We also have a permitting section in the Immigration Services Branch. It is through these channels that all clients are to reach us for various public services, including applications for permits, visas and IDs,” the department said in a statement.

All permanent residence permit applications must be done online at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica.

“Once your application has been submitted online, you need to book for an appointment at the nearest visa facilitation centre in which you intend to live and work to submit supporting documents and have your biometrics taken.

“Please visit the website above to locate the nearest visa facilitation centre. Alternatively, if you are based overseas, you can apply at your nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate in the country in which you live.

“Do not allow whatever desperation you may be experiencing at any given time to mislead you to seek legal documents through illegal means, such as bribery, fraud and corruption. It is against the law. Doing business with faceless, unauthorised impostors or middlemen will leave you in tears, worse than you were before you hastily responded to a fake offer for assistance,” the department said.

The department welcomed the arrest of a suspect in Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal, for impersonating the Minister on social media.

The Department of Home Affairs, like all government departments, talks to the people and clients only through official channels, including departmental media statements, public notices, and website postings that are verifiable, and through the departments’ offices.

The Minister, the DG or any other senior officials of the department will not ask people to pay him/her directly for legally rendered services.

For any uncertainty, members of the public are advised to visit Home Affairs offices for help. They can also call the Home Affairs Contact Centre – 0800 60 11 90.

Asylum seekers, paperless system

The department also condemn the actions of some asylum seekers, whose damaged property at the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba recently announced measures to modernise the provision of services at the centre, including introducing a paperless system as well as an appointment model for purposes of crowd control and efficient service delivery to the clients.

“These changes have been communicated adequately to both the clients and representatives of the asylum seekers community. In this regard, it is regrettable that some asylum seekers refuse to accept these changes and resort to disruptive and criminal actions which seek to destabilise progress made thus far.”

The department said asylum seekers have a responsibility to abide by the laws of the Republic. “Anyone found to be in contravention of these laws will be dealt with accordingly by the law enforcement agencies,” the department warned. – SAnews.gov.za