It takes 30 minutes to queue at Home Affairs: Gigaba

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has provided an update on his ‘War on Queues’ campaign, launched in April.

Speaking at a media briefing on Monday (23 July), Gigaba said that the programme was beginning to show signs of progress.

“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,” he said.

“On average it takes 25 to 30 minutes to issue a product to the client. This analysis necessitated a review of workflow process.”

According to Gigaba this includes a pilot to redesign the workflow, which will include separating those collecting passports from the ones collecting smart ID cards. He added that the pilot has already been successfully conducted at the Pretoria office (Byron) and Cape Town office (Barrack Street).

“A directive was issued to commence rolling-out to the remaining 182 live capture offices with two or more collection counters,” he said.

Online Service and competency assessments

According to Gigaba, home affairs is also developing mechanisms 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.

“Senior managers from the head office continue to be deployed to provinces to monitor and support implementation.”

He added that his department is currently developing a full skills matrix to determine the training and development areas required for each office manager.

“Competencies so far identified include, leadership, managing relations, problem-solving, project management and client service orientation,” he said.

“Since this assessment is still ongoing, we have thus far not yet finalised the issue of the probable redeployment of some managers to offices commensurate with their skills and competency levels.

“This we will do as soon as we have completed the skills and competency evaluation and assessed if managers are accordingly appropriately deployed.”

Problem areas 

Gigaba said that he had appointed Dimension Data to assist in assessing networks of the 184 live capture offices.

Problem areas uncovered in Dimension Data’s report showed that the biggest contributor to system downtime is unavailability of power in many offices, wherein uninterrupted power supply and generator failed to switch.

Other problem areas related to the Telkom Dataline and power management.

“System downtime affects offices for an average of 20 days in one month,” said Gigaba.

Read: South Africa’s white population is still shrinking

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It takes 30 minutes to queue at Home Affairs: Gigaba