The Department of Home Affairs Story

South Africa is a very funny country to live in. So much funny that it gets very bitter for many to debate on, notice, and talk about. Anything that the Helen Zille's DA does not point out, then it is okay; then it is not controversial and does not deserve our utmost attention. Anything that this ANC-Ninja-Governed Government does get burst on, then it is safe, as other would have pointed out.

This country's bureaucratic departments are the most inept in the world. And since anything in this country can be bought by MONEY, yes: MONEY, then many do not notice the level of absurdity in which this country turns into – day-after-day-after-day. I mean: Money in this country can buy you anything, including: Freedom, Justice, Equality, Health, Services, Clean Air, Happiness, longer Life, Entertainment, etc. 

Take the Department of Home Affairs for example. This department is one of the worst in the world. Their service delivery are some of the worst in the world, their level of competency is very low, corruption is hiking, absurd, new policies are being canonized daily, the rudeness in its staff is apparent, and the list goes on. 

Just few months ago, after the insane, inept, incompetent and self-centered Malusi Gigaba replaced the owlish Naledi Pandor, he changed nearly every policy - specifically to foreigners (despite whether you are from other parts of this so-called "dark continent" of ours or not). And not only has he put the country's Tourism, Film and Television, and Transport industries at jeopardy, but he has proved to be the: CAPITALIST of the YEAR!

If you have noticed, Malusi Gigaba has turned the "administration" of the foreigners’ documentations into a private, corporate company, namely: VFS Global Services Private Company Limited ( What this company does is that it just takes over the mundane "administration" tasks - which were previously done (terribly) by the Home Affairs, and "commodify" them. 

I am pretty sure Gigaba had a cut in this billion–rand deal – so is Zuma – from this corporate company, VFS Global. 

Previously: the administration fee, as a student from another country, to apply for a STUDY PERMIT in South Africa was just R425, although this cheap price came with a package of poorly paid and angry Home Affairs staffs – who would treat you like an animal, assure you a hell-day with them, but eventually process your document to the DHA’s Pretoria Headquarters – for approval.

And now with VFS: you will receive a "human, international" experience with respect and competency, although this comes with the grand prize of: R1775 (that is: the Home Affairs actual fee R425 with the VFS fee of R1350). Please refer here for more: And if you wish to have a “Premium Lounge” with “personalized services”: well, this will cost you R500 more. What a great way to make money in South Africa. Every person I know wish to have owned the VFS, and strike such a clever deal with Gigaba.

According to the Statistics South Africa, about 15378 Study Permits were issued in the academic year: 2013 alone, (read here for more information on the statistics of the permits being issued annually:

Suppose we take the same figure and do the Mathematics at how much the Department of Home Affairs was/is making, and how much the corporate VFS Private Company will be making on STUDY PERMITS alone, and the rest of the permits – for “administration” tasks alone, nothing else.

Remember: there are 9 more types of permits issued in our country. So, we will take the total figure for the STUDY PERMIT and times it by the 9 other types of permits, namely: Visitors permit, Work permit, Relatives permit, Business permit, Medical Permit, Waiver Permit, Retired Persons Permit, Treaty Permit, and Exchange Permit (which is mostly used for Europeans and North Americans), to get the actual money the DHA and VFS make.  

Okay: here is the simple Math.

How much was the Home Affairs used to make annually on the STUDY PERMITS alone:

R425 X 15378 = R 6 535 650.

The above is just the administration fee. The inept Department of Home Affairs have other fees, like the repatriation fee, medical fee etc.

How much has the Department of Home Affairs made annually on ALL of the permits?

R6 535 650 X 9 = R 58 820 850.00

Okay. So, far so good. And I hope we are on the same page.

How much is the Home Affairs make on STUDY PERMITS alone, as of June, 2014 after it contracted the VFS Global?

R425 X 15378 = R 6 535 650. (More or less the same)

How much is the corporate VFS global will be making on STUDY PERMITS alone:

R1350 X 15378 = R20 760 300

How much will the Department of Home Affairs make on ALL of the Permits?

R6 535 650 X 9 = R 58 820 850.00 (More or less the same)

How much will the VFS global make on ALL of the permits?

R20 760 300 X 9 = R 186 842 700

Look at those figures. I mean: WOW! These guys are money-makers.

And all of this hustle for what? A complete “human” experience? A smile? Someone to hold a door for you as you walk in? A descent conversation with the DHA staff? A competent service? I mean: what has this country turned into?

And how come nobody is debating the “ethical” issues surrounding the commodification of basic service delivery in this country?