Is this another example of corruption or complete incompetence at SAPS?

I need a Police Clearance Certificate from the SA Police Services for a visa.  The SAPS website says this takes around 15 days.  But when I go to the local police station for fingerprinting and to complete the form, they say it takes three to four months.  “There’s a backlog,” they say…

Police Clearance Certificate

From the SAPS website…

The cost of completing the necessary form (although you can download the form online) and fingerprinting is R114 at any police station and they can send it to Pretoria for you, but you can get the Police Clearance certificate in 7 working days if you pay R3500 to an outside company!

That’s what VisaLogistics offers.  Have you used them?  Are you a satisfied customer?

That’s what VisaLogistics offers

A fee of R3,500.00 covers far, far more than the cost of courier services.  Or even the cost of someone walking an application through the backlogged system.   One has to wonder if it covers hefty bribes to beat the backlog.  Or is it a scam where they tell you to be patient because of the backlog… once they already have your hefty fee.

It’s seems there’s one system for Joe Citizen and another for the wealthy — the ANC’s way of doing things.

Certificates RSA offer a turnaround time of 10–25 working days from day of submission.  I’m waiting to hear what their fees are.  Their phones don’t work!

Maybe Andrew Whitfield MP, the DA’s shadow minister for Police, will take this up because there doesn’t seem to be any political will at the ANC.  Frontline SAPS staffers are counting on you Andrew!  They get the brunt of the public’s dissatisfaction while Bheki Cele hides under his hats. The SAPS staff suggest that this function be handled at provincial level.

This story will be updated…

2 thoughts on “Is this another example of corruption or complete incompetence at SAPS?

  1. Ron McGregor

    I don’t think it can be classed as corruption. Essentially, one pays for service, and the amount you pay depends on the value to the service.
    If the authorities are efficient, one can deal with them directly. But if they are not efficient, that creates an opportunity for someone to do the work on your behalf – provided you are prepared to pay for the work that they do.
    When I was much younger, South Africans needed very few visas to travel. The whole of Europe was visa free, with the notable exception of Italy. So everyone just schlepped down to the Italian Consulate, paid the (pretty small) visa fee, and came back 3 days later to collect.
    If you didn’t live in the city, your travel agent would handle it for you, and charge a small fee for doing so.
    But, as time went by, more and more countries demanded visas of SA passport holders, and imposed more and more annoying requirements. Suddenly, it wasn’t so easy any more. The travel agents responded by increasing the fee for the extra work required. BUT – this also created the opportunity for some people to start businesses that specialised in doing the legwork. And they charged far more serious money for their services. (It was, after all, their only business. Travel agencies would charge less because they made their real money from the sale of the air tickets and other travel products.)
    Eventually, many of the travel agencies stopped doing visas and just handed the business over to the visa services, passing the cost directly to their clients.
    That is exactly what is happening here. It used to be quite feasible to deal directly with the SA Police in getting your clearance. But now the Police are no longer efficient, so the opportunity for third parties to do the work for you is created. IF you want to save the time and trouble. But you don’t have to pay the extra if you are prepared to go through the whole tedious process yourself.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I get everything you say, Ron, but I think you’re missing one point. If there is a three to four month backlog in processing PCC requests, how can an agent short circuit the backlog and provide the PCC in a few days? The only way I can think of is having someone on the inside who is prepared to do special favours. And this usually involves bribery of some sort.

      Reply

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