Minister sets up Home Affairs hotline for public

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pretoria - Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has set up a hotline number in her office to enable members of the public to register their complaints directly.

The hotline number: 0800-2044-76 will be operational every day of the week and has voice recording facilities for members of the public to leave voice messages.

"The hotline number will be used to enable the minister to unlock any lock jams that members of the public may experience with other sections of the department," the Department of Home Affairs said on Monday.

However, the hotline number will not replace the normal call centre number of the department, 0800-6011-90, which will continue to deal with ongoing concerns of the public.

This follows the recent incident of a 22-year-old man from KwaZulu-Natal who committed suicide shortly after his urgent ID application papers were allegedly torn up by a Pinetown Home Affairs' official.

According to the department, the man was applying for an urgent documentation so he could start a new job on Monday but department officials refused to help him because they suspected him of being a foreign national.

He subsequently committed suicide on Friday night.

Minister Zuma-Dlamini has since dispatched a senior departmental delegation to visit the Home Affairs office in Pinetown to investigate circumstances leading to the suicide of Douglas Skhumbuso Mhlongo.

The delegation led by Acting Deputy Director-General Vusi Mkhize and senior officials from the province will visit the regional office to determine the identity of the official who handled the application for an ID by the deceased.

After the investigation, the delegation will recommend the course of action to be taken to remedy the situation.

"In this regard, Minister Dlamini-Zuma is determined to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the investigation of the matter.

"Minister Dlamini-Zuma is of the view that the public has a right to service delivery of high quality from members of the Home Affairs Department without having to resort to such drastic action as suicide to make their voices heard," the department said.