Home Affairs to link national population registers by 2017

01 Feb 2014 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 FEB (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration hopes to have the population registers of all 14 regions linked to the ministry’s main server by 2017 in order to increase and monitor all registration processes.
Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said this during her ministry’s staff meeting held at the Khomas Regional Council in the capital on Friday.
Iivula-Ithana said the Home Affairs Ministry has also set itself a target of reducing the waiting period for permit applications such as permanent residence permits, work permits and study permits from 90 to 30 working days by next year.
“We have already set a target of reducing the waiting period for citizenship application and registering 800 000 border residents by 2017; and establishing five additional ports of entry by 2016,” she said.
Iivula-Ithana said her ministry also wants to encourage refugees and asylum seekers to either return to their countries of origin when the situation in their home country has normalised, or to have themselves integrated into Namibian society should they wish to do so, so as to reduce the number of refugees in the country.
The minister said during the 2012/2013 financial year, the ministry managed to repatriate 2 761 Angolan refugees to their home country, while those who opted to settle in Namibia are being integrated into society.
“I would like to appeal to each and every one of us in the ministry to make a personal commitment and rededicate ourselves to the realisation of the goals and objectives of the ministry through effective and efficient service delivery to our people,” she said while addressing her staff.
The minister noted that 2014 is a historic year because of the elections slated for November, and she thus encouraged her staff members to be committed to issuing national documents such as identity documents (ID) to enable Namibians to register to vote.
“The ID is an enabler in so many instances, but in this particular respect for an eligible voter to register without requiring any further assistance from any other person in that process. I would like to urge all Namibians to register and obtain voter cards in order to exercise their rights during the elections,” Iivula-Ithana said.