It could take time to come up with solutions to the Department of Home Affairs’s woes as Minister Malusi Gigaba would only act on complaints once he received a plan from his director-general on how to shorten the lengthy queues. Picture Cindy Waxa/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA
Durban - It could take time to come up with solutions to the Department of Home Affairs’s woes as Minister Malusi Gigaba would only act on complaints once he received a plan from his director-general on how to shorten the lengthy queues.

This was according to department spokesperson Thabo Mokgola.

“Minister Malusi Gigaba is aware of the concerns because they were raised with him when he made unannounced visits to various offices around the country.

“The issue of long queues, people standing in queues for eight people and getting paid in return, and all the other complaints concern the minister,” Mokgola said on Thursday.

“These challenges are not unique to KwaZulu-Natal; they are countrywide and the minister is taking them seriously.

“He had given a directive to his director-general to prepare a comprehensive report and strategy on managing long queues at the department’s offices across the country.”

People also complained about a lack of urgency in the department’s employees.

Mayville resident Nomusa Mkhize recently told the Daily News she had given up on getting an identity document for her daughter.

“I’ve lost count of my visits to the Umgeni Road office. Monday was my most recent visit and I was turned away and told to return the next day. That’s what I get every time I get there. What makes it worse is the disgusting behaviour of the security guards and people who wake up early to be the first in the queue, only to sell their positions to those who arrive later. They are doing business and nothing is done about it,” said Mkhize.

She alleged that the security guards charge R200 to get a parking.

On The Daily News’s Facebook page, readers expressed their anger and dissatisfaction with services at the department.

Alton Small posted: “It’s not rocket science - birth certificate done in hospitals, new IDs done at any bank and collection at post office of area where you live. That’s what most of the people come here for. The rest of the stuff not mentioned, that is what the department should be doing.”

Cathy Glazer Munns said: “They need to tackle the staff. I applied in December for unabridged birth certificates and a marriage certificate and still waiting.”

Charmaine de Wit wrote: “I went yesterday at 10:30 and left at 15:30. The queue outside is extremely long and tiring especially for older ppl or ppl with children. Once inside it took about an hour. Waiting for the photo/finger printing took forever. After that it was extremely quick. But I think it was because there was a man there that seemed to be some kind of authority that was rushing them to get done.”

In 2016 the department launched its online Smart ID and passport applications portal, where people could make their applications even in banks.

The pilot project was instituted at 11 branches of four participating banks in Gauteng.

Mokgola said Gigaba piloted the online project in Gauteng. “In due course he will make an announcement in relation to rolling out the initiative countrywide.

“He will also announce whether the pilot was a success or not.”

Mokgola could not say when Apleni would present the report to Gigaba.

Daily News