Frustrated with Home Affairs

25th May 2012

Editor –

It is with mixed feelings that I write this brief letter. After gaining all my engineering expe- rience in the UK and the US, I returned to South Africa for a variety of reasons, including a desire to play a role in the infant local renew- able-energy industry. I kept hearing about how South Africa had been experiencing a shortage of technical people and that everything had been done to facilitate the return of skilled professionals.
Apart from sympathy and some attempts to help from colleagues, my family and I have experienced nothing but repeated frustration with the process of trying to live here legally. Several Home Affairs strikes in 2010 and the repeated loss of all our documents, combined with no sympathy from officials, who demand that we update our overseas police records (and other documents) owing to the delays, in no ways seem like a welcoming back of apparently scarce skills. At this time, despite all attempts, we are struggling to remain on the right side of the law. But I still believe in playing my part.
Paul Gauché
Senior researcher and director

Solar Thermal Energy Research Group
Stellenbosch University
+27 21 808 4242 I