According to news reports the Department of Home Affairs will be piloting an international permit hub in Pretoria, with Nigeria, India, and Kenya being used as test cases for expediting issuing of visas and permits.
The three countries were chosen for this pilot due to the high numbers of applications.
The announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba at a roundtable discussion with corporate clients over the effect of new immigration laws.
Mr Gigaba said his department was reviewing its processes in response to business needs, which would enable investment.
Corporate clients refer to firms and educational institutions that have a significant number of expatriates. He said this would provide uniformity and a speedy resolution to the applications as there had been challenges in attaining visas from various South African embassies.
"We are looking at everything that will provide a convenient service. Not all of our missions are staffed by Department of Home Affairs officials and the international hub will be up and running by the end of the financial year," Mr Gigaba said.
The roundtable with business was held by the department as it sought to assess services offered by the department to corporate account clients; these also included challenges and areas of improvement by both parties in line with the Immigration Act and regulations. The minister said the "relook" at the department’s internal processes would provide corporate clients with "direct access and help address some of the technical questions."
Participants had taken the minister to task over a number of issues which they argued affected business and the academia.
Mr Gigaba said South Africa’s new immigration rules were aimed at balancing the need for better security with the contribution migration makes to economic development and prosperity.
KPMG senior immigration manager Munhle Manzini said the department’s move would help business development. "This is a good move by the department. We welcome all initiatives that will help business and economic development and the issue of expediting visa application will enable that," he said.