Put house in order

There is a general sense that there is a gradual improvement of service delivery at the much-maligned Department of Home Affairs.

There is a general sense that there is a gradual improvement of service delivery at the much-maligned Department of Home Affairs.

Negativity tends to overshadow positive developments, though. Small wonder the department's trumpeting of successes is greeted with scepticism by a cynical public.

Winning their hearts and minds was not going to be easy - especially when the prevalent notion is that it may not be able change its innate nature after all. This distinction, which it dubiously shares with the proverbial leopard that cannot change its spots, continues to dog it.

Such sentiments of doom can be ascribed to the colossal problem of migration - perceived to have reached disastrous proportions in recent years. This remains its biggest challenge - as do factors such as staff ineptitude and shortages.

That Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and director general Mavuso Msimang are acutely aware of the challenges and have prescribed solutions in a turnaround plan that provides a flicker of hope.

But identifying shortcomings, as the pair pronounced this week, is one thing. Doing something to overcome the weaknesses is the other.

Positive results of their strategy is what the public awaits - not persistent whingeing about the nature of problems racking the department.

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