South Africa: Home Affairs Pleased With Response to Extension of Operating Hours

The Department of Home Affairs has assisted more than 33 500 people in its offices and 105 mobile units that were deployed in the first two days of the service delivery blitz during the Voter Registration Weekend.

The majority of the people, that is, more than 25 700, visited on Saturday, 03 February 2024. Nearly 7 900 visited during the two additional operating hours from 4pm to 6pm on Friday, 02 February 2024.

“This public response is galvanizing us to do more as we prepare to welcome those people who want to visit our offices today. We are open from 8am until 5pm,” Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza said on Sunday.

This as the Electoral Commission is holding the country’s second Voter Registration Weekend ahead of the national elections.

According to the department, the overwhelming public response led to two offices and four mobile units operating beyond 5pm in the Eastern Cape.

One office in the Western Cape operated beyond the closing time while there were three offices and two mobile units that did the same in Mpumalanga. In Gauteng, four offices operated beyond 5pm while one office did in KwaZulu-Natal.

Over the two days, nearly 23 400 people came to collect their IDs. Another 9 100, mostly first-time applicants, came to apply for IDs. More than 920 people applied for and received their Temporary Identification Certificates on the spot.

There were 148 people who were referred by the Independent Electoral Commission to Home Affairs to update their status on the Voters’ Roll. People who came to collect their passports were also assisted.

“We continue to encourage first-time applicants to come and collect their documents. Home Affairs takes up to 13 working days to deliver an ID from the day of application. Therefore, if it has been more than two weeks since you applied, please come back and collect your ID,” Nzuza said.

The department has further set up dedicated queues for collection in offices that have space for such, to make the collection process faster.

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