Home Affairs launches branch appointment booking system for IDs and passports

A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS

A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS

Published Jun 2, 2022


Johannesburg - The Department of Home Affairs is waging a war against long queues. The department has launched the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS) to this effect.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, has, on a number of occasions, indicated that the department endeavours to better serve clients and create better experiences for the public in their interactions with home affairs.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Deputy Director-General (DDG) for Institutional Planning & Support, Thulani Mavuso said that the new system would eliminate some of the frustrations members of the public deal with whenever they have to visit the Home Affairs offices.

He said: “We want to protect people from waking up at four, five in the morning to come to our offices because they want to stand in those long queues.”

“But also, we have been frustrated by people who come in the office and queue in order to sell the slots to the public. We are trying to curb that particular problem.”

The DDG stressed that the branch appointment booking system is only applicable to ID and passport applications. They are high-volume products that are in demand.

Applicants are encouraged to use the online booking system because, in the near future, selected Home Affairs branches will process smart ID and passport applications only for clients who have booked an appointment through the Branch Appointment System.

Pre-booked clients will be serviced at dedicated counters.

Below are the offices that will of the service:

Picture: Supplied

Mavuso was quick to allay fears that there would be system glitches, like systems being off-line, that has become synonymous with Home Affairs.

The booking list will be provided daily and will include contact numbers of clients, which can be used proactively to alert them when the system is off-line.

He said: “In terms of the system upgrade, we are doing tech refresh all the time. Our offices are getting new equipment every year.”

“There is a review of the architecture of the network that we are currently doing together with our State Information Technology Agency. So work is being done to be able to improve the technology.”

The difference between eHomeAffairs and BABS is that eHomeAffairs allows the client to make a booking, upload documents and make payment then be processed at the Banks whilst BABS provides a client with an opportunity to book a time slot to visit a Home Affairs office to process their application. They are similar in that they allow clients to book a time slot for an application.

To book an appointment, click here and click on BABS on the home page.