Ministry of Home Affairs says visa applications for Mr Price passed scrutiny

Stefanus Nashama

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security says the work visa applications for employees of Mr Price shops to render services to the company’s Namibian branches, follow the same process as any other applications.

The Ministry was responding to the allegations circulating on social media, which claimed some sources in the Ministry have detected corrupt officials who are illegally issuing work visas for plumbers and cleaners from South Africa to temporarily work in Namibia.

The Ministry clarified these allegations, saying that like any other application before approval, duly scrutinizes such applications.

“Mr Price is a South African company therefore from time to time they send staff from their mother Company to do auditing or company visits for a specific period. The Ministry in this case cannot reject this application as to our understanding, these applicants are not in any way taking up Namibian jobs,” the Ministry elucidated.

The statement issued by the Ministry’s Executive Director, Etienne Maritz, last week, pointed out that Mr. Price’s shops have certain standards that they should follow.

Maritz said this includes when the shops request visas for their people to ensure such standards are properly followed and met.

“Our database can be scrutinized and there is no way we issued visas to cleaners or plumbers to do work at Mr Price,” he said.

The Ministry strives to safeguard the jobs for the Namibians, as we are aware of the unemployment rate in the country, stated the Executive Director.

Maritz further stressed the Immigration Control Act, saying it is clear as to who should qualify to get a work visa to work in the country.

At the same time, he reiterated work visas are issued for a short period (three to six months).

No way will these visas be issued to people coming to do work where Namibians are qualified, said Maritz.

The Ministry is mandated to issue visas and permits to foreign nationals who wish to render service or expertise to companies or institutions operating in Namibia. These permits or visas regulate or legalize foreigners in the country.

Each application submitted to the Ministry is scrutinized and carefully considered by the Immigration Selection Board (ISB) and Sub-Committee.

The Minister as per the Immigration Control Act, 7 of 1993, legally appoints such a Sub-Committee.

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