The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has suggested to the Department of Home Affairs that they must look at a ‘holistic approach’ in dealing with long queues.
In a presentation on Tuesday (26 November), director-general Thulani Mavuso says the issue of reducing queues at Home Affairs offices has been made a ministerial priority.
Mavuso says some of the interventions being looked at include:
- A heat map, showing where offices have the longest queues;
- Developing a system to issue tickets for overflow clients;
- Creating specific counters for clients who applied on eHome Affairs;
- Developing a smartphone app for reissue of passports and ID smart cards.
The portfolio committee welcomed the announcements and said that the Department of Home Affairs should also look at other solutions such as:
- The need to utilise technological advances such as an online appointment system that will ensure that clients arrive at the department when they are expected;
- The extension of the department’s footprint in banking institutions to lighten the load on departmental offices;
- Reengagement with labour unions to resolve the impasse on the opening of the Home Affairs offices on Saturdays, which alleviated weekday pressures on the office.
“The committee has committed to engage the National Treasury on the issue of departmental funding,” it said.
“The committee agrees with the department that the current footprint is inadequate to service the current population and requires the extension of its services, which will include opening more offices.”
It added that training for frontline employees was also underlined as a key area that must be prioritised, as there are areas of concern currently.
“There are ongoing complaints about the unpleasant attitude of Home Affairs staff, which can be addressed through training, which must be periodic,”it siad.