File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Shock at long Home Affairs queues

By Karen Singh Time of article published Apr 11, 2019

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DURBAN - A Durban man said he was shocked by the state of disorganisation at the Home Affairs office in Prospecton this week.

Patric Wilkinson, who visited the office on Tuesday to renew his passport, said after waiting in the queue outside the office for hours, he was told it was unlikely he would be assisted that day.

“I asked if I would get served today (Tuesday) and I was told by an employee, ‘I doubt any more people will be let in because they’ve already let 80 people in’ and I was also told that I need to start queuing from 5am the next day if I want to be helped,” said Wilkinson.

He added that everyone was standing in one queue, which moved “an inch at a time” for collections and applications without any organisation.

“How can you expect citizens to be subjected to that. I feel the minister should go and inspect the Prospecton office.

“There’s no order or organisation, why should we wait in a queue for three hours for a chance to be helped,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson added he had been “disgusted” with the state of the men’s toilet.

“The gents’ toilets were swimming with water and the toilets are a disgrace and looked like they had not been cleaned for a while,” said Wilkinson.

Cyril Mncwabe, the provincial manager for the Department of Home Affairs, said the department was aware of the issues with cleanliness at the Prospecton office.

“The department is in the process of contacting a cleaning contract for the cleaning of the office as the contract has recently expired.

“The toilets have in the meantime been vandalised and the budget to repair (them) is to be allocated in this financial year,” said Mncwabe.

Regarding the long queues and lack of organisation, Mncwabe said while on a normal day without system glitches, the office could handle about 200 clients, there were days when people had to be turned away.

“On a day when a high volume of clients turn up for our services, it happens that some may not be assisted within the available working time but arrangements are made for the next day,” he said.

Mncwabe said queues were separated from outside the office.

Meanwhile, it has been reported there were people charging R300 to stand in the queues to jump ahead in the line.

Mncwabe said the department had not launched an investigation into this issue because there were no staff members implicated.

“This happens outside the office early before the office opens. It is not true that this happens in all offices but was reported to happen outside PMB office,” he said.

THE MERCURY 

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