DURBAN – Those who applied for their IDs more than two weeks ago are urged to collect their documents at the offices where they made their applications.
Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday confirmed the temporary extension of operating times at front offices and Ports of Entry to help ease festive season congestion.
He said operating times at front offices will be from 8am - 5.30pm until December 30.
“This will help to deal with the high demand for services at Home Affairs offices. This extension period excludes weekends, public holidays, 17 and 24 December 2021 as the offices will be closed,” he said.
The minister said in the past two months the department issued 206 254 unabridged birth certificates, processed 187 813 ID applications, registered 129 324 births. It issued 116 049 death certificates.
He said these are the services that were in high demand during the past two months. The department will offer all Home Affairs services during this extension period.
The only people who will be sent home are those who arrive after 5.30pm. Everybody who arrives before 5.30pm should be served and not turned away.
He said some of the busiest Ports of Entry will operate for 24 hours. Motsoaledi said this is to enable a continuous processing of truck drivers. Other travellers will be processed during the hours that fall outside the curfew.
“Our offices and Ports of Entry usually receive high numbers of people during the festive season, partly because that is when most people have time to look for services or to travel. The temporary extension is therefore aimed at giving people more time to come to our offices or be processed through our borders in a safe manner, taking into account that Covid-19 is still with us,” Motsoaledi said.
The minister extended operating hours at the Oshoek border with Eswatini by seven hours from December 20 to 24 and at the Lebombo border with Mozambique by six hours until January 9. The extension means that both ports will operate for 24 hours during the approved periods.
Beit Bridge and Maseru Bridge are already operating for 24 hours.
“Everyone who comes to our offices or is travelling through our ports, is requested to be patient and also observe all Covid-19 protocols,” Motsoaledi said.