South Africa: Home Affairs Extends Operating Hours Ahead of Voter Registration Weekend

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is extending operating hours ahead of the voter registration weekend to allow for the collection of IDs and passports.

“We would like to urge all clients who have applied for their identification documents and have been waiting for three weeks or more to seize this opportunity by visiting their Home Affairs office to collect these critical documents at their convenience,” the department said on Thursday.

Offices will be open on Saturday, 4 November 2023 and Saturday, 11 November 2023 from 8am to 1pm on each day exclusively for the collection of smart ID cards and passports.

“To ease pressure on its clients, Home Affairs has introduced dedicated counters for collections in large offices that process smart ID cards and passports, where space allows. This will help to reduce queues.

‘In addition, clients can now book collection appointments before visiting offices, using the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS), which is available on the DHA Website – through this link;,” the Department said.

The department also allows clients, who may not have an opportunity to book appointments, to visit as walk-ins and will be assisted to collect their IDs and passports.

“ID services will also be available at all Home Affairs offices during the voter registration weekend of 18 and 19 November 2023.

“In this regard, operating hours at Home Affairs offices will be aligned with those of the Electoral Commission (IEC) in order to assist voters who need to collect the IDs they have applied for or to apply for Temporary Identification Certificates.

“With these documents, eligible voters will be able to register for the 2024 national and provincial elections. Temporary identification certificates are issued on the spot,” the department said.

Prior to each election, the IEC launches registration drives aimed at enrolling new voters and empowering existing ones to scrutinise and, where necessary, amend their registration details.

The Commission reiterated its commitment to open nearly all voting stations for the weekend of 18 and 19 November.

This allows not only for the registration of new voters but also facilitates the verification of the voters’ roll. Station-based registration ensures equitable access to the vote.


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