The Ministry of Home Affairs notes with concern media reports on the decision regarding travel arrangements for staff accompanying the Minister for departmental and government-related work.

There is nothing unbecoming in making requests of this nature best to improve on the quality and standard of services we provide in the normal course of our work, a reality that is alluded to in print media, which is a part of the motivation that had been made on behalf of the Minister. 

In no way did the Minister have a role to play in this regard. Such a request emanated from the department’s and Ministry’s appreciation of the role that the principal plays, with the support of officials, in executing his mandate in the interest of citizens and all of our clients.

It is common cause to expect a decision either way when requests are submitted for consideration. But not submitting a request when circumstances so demand, would be an act of irresponsibility on our part. In this regard, the request was made specifically for certain trips when the delegation had pressing engagements. We find vilification for following administrative processes unfortunate and also regret that an administration matter is being used to defame the Minister.

The Department of Home Affairs is among the departments supporting fully the cost-cutting measures that are in place understanding clearly the current financial and economic climate giving rise to this situation, here and abroad. The Ministry has cut cost by around 3 million rand in this year.

Over the past months, much has been achieved in service delivery improvement with fewer resources, including running such a critical and strategic department that is transforming without replacing all of those officials exiting the system for various reasons.

It is important to note that it is not irregular for the administration office to make such a request, in compliance with the Treasury regulations.

Issued by Neo Mashigo: Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Home Affairs

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