Thousands Namibians still use old South West Africa ID

23 Mar 2016 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) – About 70 000 Namibians are still in possession of South West Africa (SWA) identification cards (ID)’s issued during South Africa’s apartheid rule over Namibia.
Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana revealed this during the introduction of her ministry's budget allocation in the National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday.
She said the home affairs ministry is planning on phasing out the legitimacy of the SWA ID’s by 31 March 2017, for the purpose of adapting to the best international practices of using one legal identity card within a national territory.
This will also allow those with the old IDs to rectify incorrect particulars of their identification enforced during the apartheid era.
She appealed to Namibians using the old IDs to apply for a new one as soon as possible.
The minister said the programmes of her ministry for the 2016/17 financial year are geared towards the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) and Vision 2030, adding these programmes are civil registration, immigration control and citizenship, refugee administration and registration proper.
She highlighted the transformation and improvement of service delivery through a turn-around strategy, which was finalised in December 2015.
A total of N.dollars 497 243 000 was allocated to the home affairs and immigrating ministry, of which N.dollars 348 661 000 is meant for operational expenses and N.dollars 148 582 000 for capital projects.
The minister also revealed that a total of 6 463 employment permits were issued during the 2015/16 financial year, while 1 390 employment permit applications were rejected.
She said 197 temporary resident permits were issued and 22 were rejected.
A total of 4 694 study permits were issued, while 279 applications were rejected.
The minister further said that N.dollars 157 210 000 will be allocated to the Directorate of Immigration Control and Citizenship, which deals with the issuance of travel documents.
The Directorate of Immigration and border control, which falls under the Directorate of Immigration Control and Citizenship, is responsible of surveillance of illegal immigrants, while the border control management system under the same directorate, links ports of entry and various immigration offices.
About 2 742 illegal immigrants were deported from Namibia during the previous financial year.
The ministry granted a total of 944 citizenships by descent; 108 by marriage; 247 by naturalisation; and 394 registrations of citizenships were issued.
Citizenship by descent occur in a case where a person was born outside the country, but one or both of their parents is a Namibian citizen because they were born in Namibia.
A citizenship by naturalisation is granted to a foreign citizen or national who has lived in Namibia and has completed or met the legal requirements to become a citizen.
The home affairs ministry also issued 72 941 ordinary passports while 302 passport applications were rejected and 403 diplomatic passports were issued, while one was rejected.
Home Affairs issued 555 official passports; and 65 travel documents (brown passport); two travel documents were rejected.
The ministry thus allocated N.dollars 157 210 000 for the Immigration Control and Citizenship programme.
Furthermore, the ministry allocated N.dollars 4 629 000 for refugee administration and for the protection and support to refugees in Namibia.
Iivula-Ithana also indicated that Namibia hosts about 4 761 refugees at the Osire refugee settlement.
During the period under review, 574 refugees and asylum seekers were repatriated to their countries of origin.
A group of 21 returnees from the Dukwe refugee camp in Botswana were repatriated and re-integrated into their communities in the 2015/2016 financial year, which brings the number of remaining Namibian refugees in Dukwe to 923.
The minister noted that N.dollars 63 068 563 was generated by the ministry in the 2015/16 financial year from miscellaneous, administration fees, permits, visas and passports, excluding revenues from foreign missions.
“Some of the activities for the ministry could not be adequately covered due to budgetary limitations,” she stated.
The affected programmes are the Border Management System (BMS); the introduction of Visa stickers for alien control system; the e-passport project and the regular registration for national document.