What is the change? President Cyril Ramaphosa has reshuffled his cabinet, including the appointment of Siyabonga Cwele as Home Affairs Minister following the resignation of Malusi Gigaba last month.

What does the change mean? The Department of Home Affairs is already experiencing a major backlog of approximately 16,000 visa applications, and the transition to a new minister and changes in staffing could cause additional delays and unpredictability in processing.

Background: This is the first major reorganization of the cabinet since Ramaphosa took office in February. Since then, DHA has focused on reforming its visa rules to attract tourists, business visitors and foreign investors and to relax burdensome rules on foreign children traveling to and from South Africa. Cwele, the new DHA minister, previously served as Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services and before that, Minister of State Security.

Analysis & Comments:  The change in leadership at the Department of Home Affairs comes at a time when the government is seeking to overhaul the immigration system. Upcoming changes include revisions to the Critical Skills List and expansion of visa waivers for more nationalities. Long-term plans contained in a government white paper issued last year include moving to a points-based immigration system and creation of a new border management agency. The change in ministers is unlikely to affect the overall agenda, but may cause additional processing delays.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.