Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Home Affairs will offer limited services during adjusted level 3 lockdown

Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced that it will offer limited services under adjusted level 3 of the nationwide lockdown.

The minister was speaking during a media briefing by the national coronavirus command council (NCCC) on the newly amended regulations on Tuesday.

Motsoaledi revealed that since December the department, has been issuing a high number of death certificates. The figures, he cautioned, are set to spiral further by the end of January.

To remedy the situation, Home Affairs offices have extended their operating hours until 7pm.

“We will be extending operating hours to 7pm to accommodate those needing to register deaths and births. This will be available from now until 15 February,” he said.

In December, senior managers – including the Minister and his deputy, Njabulo Nzuza -  visited all provinces to monitor compliance with lockdown regulations.

During these visits, Motsoaledi said it became clear that while protocols were being observed inside the offices, it was the polar opposite in the queues outside, with the public disregarding even social distancing markings.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has decided to temporarily suspend certain activities and services.

“This is very unfortunate but we are forced by circumstances. We were guided by statistics. Of all the people who visit [our] offices, 29 % are people collecting smart IDs, 16% are applying afresh for smart IDs, 11% come to be issued birth, marriage and death certificates [while] 10% come to apply for temporary IDs,” he said.

The DHA has suspended the application for smart IDs, with the exception of matriculates applying for IDs.

Applications for passports (except for those permitted to travel in by the Disaster Management Act regulations), marriage registration and solemnisation of marriages are also suspended as is the collection of IDs.

 “I know this will be difficult but please bear with us as we save lives. Please don’t come to collect IDs unless you’re specifically invited to do so via SMS. We’ve decided to change the modality in which we operate, we are proposing that all births and deaths be registered at health facilities at which they took place,” he said.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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