War on Queues campaign making progress

Monday, July 23, 2018

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says there has been some progress in dealing with queues at the department’s offices since the War on Queues campaign was launched earlier this year.

The campaign follows an assessment report conducted by the department following queries from members of the public and journalists about the time spent at Home Affairs offices.

“It has been a slow start, but, with signs of progress in some areas,” the Minister said.

Addressing the media in Pretoria on Monday, Gigaba said on average it takes 25 to 30 minutes to issue a product to the client.

“A monitoring tool was developed, to measure average waiting time, from the time the client receives a ticket to the time the client receives the product or service.

“This work includes a pilot to redesign the workflow so that we separate those collecting passports from the ones collecting smart ID cards. The pilot was successfully conducted at the Pretoria office (Byron) and Cape Town Office (Barrack Street),” Gigaba said.

He said a directive was issued to commence rolling-out to the remaining 182 live capture offices with two or more collection counters.

“Regarding the five offices identified for immediate action, namely, Alexander, Soweto, East London, Pietermaritzburg and uMngeni, a full assessment was conducted. Implementation of the findings has started in Alexander and Soweto offices.

“We are closely monitoring the performance of these interventions to ensure success,” the Minister said.

Regarding the online service, Gigaba said they are currently developing mechanisms to ensure that offices are able to prioritise those that have applied online through the eHomeAffairs channel.

“Currently, we have noted that even those that have applied online are still not prioritised when they get to our offices, they still stand in queues as those doing walk-in applications,” he said.

The department appointed Dimension Data, to assist in assessing networks of the 184 live capture offices.

“I have received a report from Dimension Data, showing problem areas. The biggest contributor to system downtime is unavailability of power in many offices, wherein uninterrupted power supply and generator failed to switch,” Gigaba said.

During the 2018 budget vote, Gigaba said in this financial year, the department will add 20 additional sites to the list of participating banks (Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard), as part of the live capture pilot.

“This will help reduce queues in the short to medium term. But for it to work for citizens, more people must start applying online for smart ID cards and passports,” he said.

With regard to system upgrade, the department announced last week that it has successfully implemented the system.

The system automate birth registrations and the re-issue of marriage and death certificates that are already in the national population register, and the printing of parents’ details in children’s passports. – SAnews.gov.za