FOREIGNERS REINTEGRATED BY END AUGUST

ANC Daily News Briefing/Sapa, 1 July 2008

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Foreigners displaced by xenophobic attacks will be reintegrated into their communities by the end of August, a senior home affairs official said on Tuesday. "The plan is to reintegrate those people who have been displaced at the end of July (and) August," deputy director general for immigration Jackie McKay told reporters in Pretoria. "We are now busy with the registration process... those who lost their documentation will be reissued (with new ones)." Hundreds of foreigners were displaced in the attacks that started in May. Since then they have been living in various camps around the country. On whether those who had left the country following the attacks had returned, McKay said: "Most of the people that left were undocumented and did not come through a border post. They came through the border fence or anywhere else but not through the border. "What happened was that with those who had left, they voluntarily returned and we registered them. We have the names of those that went back, those who have left. We have not seen any people returning to South Africa," said McKay. Public Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, who chaired the briefing, said the home affairs department had speeded up issuing identity documents. In February the department took 103 days to issue an ID, compared to the 163 days taken before. As at the end of April, it took 79 days for an ID to be issued, said Fraser-Moleketi. She added that there were four director-general posts in the department which still had to be filled. On gender issues, the minister said the percentage of women in senior posts grew by two percent from March 2007 to March 2008. "The percentage of women in senior management service posts now constitutes 34 percent of the total percentage of senior management service employees in the public service as of March 2008," she said. This was despite government's plan to have women constituting 50 percent of the work force. "We want to see what we can do to ensure the push required for us to meet the 50 percent target in 2009," she said. The minister said draft fraud prevention plans had been developed to ensure that 150 municipalities have access to Local Government Anti-Corruption strategies in place by December 2008.