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Pretoria - The home affairs department is ready to assist the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) with the upcoming national elections, it said on Wednesday.
“The department is ready and willing to collaborate with the IEC in support of the May 7 elections,” deputy director general of civic services Vusi Mkhize said in Pretoria.
“There are meetings that we are holding with the IEC to make sure that on that day the mobiles will be deployed in accordance with a cluster of voting stations.”
Mkhize said home affairs department offices would be opened in line with the hours of the commission.
The department is also negotiating with the IEC to ensure that officials required to work on election day be allowed to cast special votes.
Mkhize and Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan were addressing the media on various issues including the new births and deaths regulations, the new smart ID cards, and the invalidation of duplicate IDs.
The smart ID card would be utilised for the first time for election purposes, said Mkhize.
The department had met its target of processing 100 000 smart ID cards by March 31, said Chohan.
“We have processed over 140 749 smart ID cards as of March 24 and have thus met our target,” she said.
“We are very pleased about this.”
Chohan said the department's hotline had been inundated with calls from people who had applied for the new ID, who thought they had been receiving hoax SMSes to collect the new ID three or four days after they applied.
“We do want to assure people that the production of the ID card is a fairly seamless one. It's digital and that it is possible for you to get an SMS of having applied for one...”
She said the real time constraint was the courier service and would depend where people were located geographically.
Chohan called on people who received the SMS to collect their new ID cards timeously.
The number of uncollected smart ID cards had reached 26,866.
Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor would soon address the media following Cabinet's approval of the approach on the expiry of permits issued under the special dispensation for Zimbabweans project.
“In this regard, Cabinet agreed that the permit holders will be expected to re-apply for their permits in their country of origin,” she said.
Pandor would provide more details soon.