Home Affairs Minister cracks whip on officials

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pretoria - Joyce Maluleke has been trying to get an Identity Document (ID) for her son for more than a year now but each time she visited the Home Affairs offices in Randburg, she returned home empty handed.

By the time she made her fourth visit to the offices on Monday, Maluleke was frustrated and desperate.

Fortunately for her, Monday was also the day that Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma made an unannounced visit to the Randburg office.

While the minister chatted to those waiting in line to apply for IDs, Maluleke shared her frustrations with the minister.

Maluleke's 24-year-old son does not have a birth certificate, which has complicated the process of him applying for an ID.

Without the birth certificate, he needs to be interviewed so that Home Affairs officials can ascertain if he is a South African citizen.

"Every time I come here they tell me the people who need to interview him are not here and I must wait or come back. They told me the same thing today so I am just waiting. I've been coming here since last year," Maluleke said.

After hearing about Maluleke's difficulties, Dlamini Zuma instructed senior officials at the office to assist her immediately.

The minister also took time to share some words of wisdom with Fikile and Phindiwe Bili shortly before the couple was married.

"She told me to take care of Phindiwe and that by doing so, Phindiwe would take care of me. It's a great honour to have been married here today when the minister was around," Fikile said.

He added that the staff at the Randburg office was very efficient and helpful, regardless of whether Dlamini Zuma was visiting.

Overall, the minister was pleased with service delivery at the office. However, the challenges she did note included the time it took for abridged certificates to be issued and data that was wrongly captured on the documents issued.

"Today I came across three queries regarding information that was not captured correctly. We have to make sure that there is some sort of quality assurance before the documents are issued," Dlamini Zuma said.

Discussions were underway to determine how widespread the problem is and to find ways of addressing it, she added. 

Apart from listening to the concerns of the public, the minister also took time to listen to the staff to find out what challenges they faced. - BuaNews

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