In a recent judgment The Pretoria High Court has ordered the Department of Home Affairs to process 182 Permanent Residence applications within a 30 day period. Certain of these applications have been outstanding for over 7 years.
Most of the applicants are wealthy individuals and it is estimated that they could invest an amount of as high as R 15 billion into the South African economy. It is incomprehensible to understand why these applications have taken so long to be processed especially with President Ramaphosa actively seeking investment into South Africa.
Furthermore, it appears as if the Department of Home Affairs never filed a response to the applicant’s summons and the judgement was accordingly given in default. The court and general public are thus non the wiser why permanent residence applications are presently taking such a long time to be processed. The court papers do detail how the processing timelines for permanent residence applications have increased from a time period of six months in 2010 to the present processing period of up to six years.
One hopes that this judgement will serve as motivation for the Department to speed up the processing times, but this is unlikely to be the case.
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