The portfolio committee on home affairs has hailed commitments to roll out Home Affairs services at more banks.
Home Affairs provided a progress update on Tuesday over ongoing deliberations between the department and the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA).
They are expected to sign a partnership agreement.
“While the committee welcomed the movement from pilot phase to full partnership phase, it raised concerns about the lengthy interactions. Despite this, however, the committee is optimistic that all impediments have been resolved and that roll-out will be speeded. The committee is of the view that the increase in footprint that will follow as a result of this agreement, will have a positive impact on the perennial challenge of long queues facing the department. As the process unfolds, the committee has called on the department to resolve teething challenges by utilisation of its e-Home Affairs portal including functionality,” said Mosa Chabane.
The committee has also called on the department to undertake international benchmarking to improve its e-Home Affairs portal. This, according to the committee, will ensure that best practices were shared on how best to develop and maintain such a platform and reduce the traffic at Home Affairs offices.
Chabane also raised concerns about the under-resourced contact centre operating at 54% of its capacity.
While the committee acknowledged the financial challenge facing all government departments, it expressed concern that high vacancy rate results in longer waiting time and frustrations. It has called on the department to develop strategies on how it will resolve this challenge and ensure optimal functionality.