The Department of Home Affairs apologised for the closure of most of its offices on Saturday due to staff shortages.

The department confirmed over 90% of its offices were not operational on Saturday due to an insufficient number of staff members turning up for work.

This despite a nationwide strike by disgruntled workers being averted at the last minute after the department and trade unions struck a deal that allowed Home Affairs workers to go back to voluntary work on Saturdays.

Employees had earlier resolved to take to the streets in relation to an ongoing dispute over working hours for the front office staffers.

The department in a statement apologised for the inconvenience caused by the closure of most of its offices.

“The department wishes to put it on record that it is disappointed by these developments as they are not in line with the spirit of the agreement and the resolutions of discussions that took place up to Friday, 23 June 2017.  

“In this regard, the department is appealing to the union leadership to prioritise resolving this matter urgently as agreed with the unions during negotiations.”

The department said it hoped the matter would be resolved soon as the public deserved better service.