Home Affairs opens more services to the public

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Collection of smart identity cards, birth registrations and temporary measures regulating entry and exit from South Africa for emergency medical attention are now open at the Department of Home Affairs - under level 4 of the national Coronavirus lockdown.

The department issued a directive outlining civic services published on 9 May that are available.  

According to the department’s spokesperson Siya Qoza, while some services may have been restricted, limited services are being offered to ensure citizens have access to essential services, especially in this difficult time.

Qoza said the services are rendered to citizens and other clients at civic services front offices across the country, between Monday and Friday, from 08h30 to 15h30.

Registration of births, excluding late registrations

According to the department, births are registered at health facilities and local Home Affairs offices. However, children not registered due to the level 5 national lockdown are to be registered at local Home Affairs offices.

“Parents are urged to visit their nearest Home Affairs offices to register these children, but to do so within the confines of what is permissible by the regulations in this period,” Qoza said.

He said no late registration of birth will be done during level 4 of the national state of disaster.

However, children born between 26 February 2020 and 3 May 2020 do not fall in the category of late registration of birth, while those delivered from 4 May 2020 must be registered within the mandatory 30 days of birth.

Issuance of Temporary Identity Certificates (TICs)

People who have lost or misplaced their IDs may apply for the TICs during this period which is issued on the spot as no applications for IDs are accepted, the department said. 

Collection of smart ID cards

According to Qoza, the department had 411 390 uncollected smart ID cards as of 15 May and is calling on the applicants to collect them, adding that the same applies to green ID books.

He said smart ID card collection services are provided at all modernised live capture offices, however, no new applications service will be available.  

Reissue of documents

Birth and death certificates are reissued under level 4 for those who may have misplaced or lost their documents.

Passports for people engaging in the delivery of essential goods 

Passport services will be available only to persons who are engaged in the delivery of essential goods across SA borders and those who are travelling outside the country for medical services, Qoza explained.

“They must provide, as supporting documents, original letters from the employer or medical practitioner indicating the need for medical attention outside our borders.”

Safety first

Qoza said the department will continue monitoring the effective and responsible provision of the identified services in a manner that minimises the risk of staff and clients’ exposure to infections.

“The skeleton staff, shifts and the rotation system will continue to be used as effectively and efficiently as possible,” he added.

He said the department’s managers will ensure that their offices comply with the following protocols such as using personal protective equipment, limiting of the number of clients who get into an office, to ensure social distancing and cleaning of offices, regularly, with disinfectants.

“All people in the country are encouraged to take every precaution to protect themselves and those around them from this deadly Coronavirus,” he added.

Meanwhile, the department said deaths continue to be registered at local Home Affairs offices as was the case during level 5 of the lockdown. - SAnews.gov.za