Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has clarified which services will be available at Home Affairs offices during the country’s extended level 3 lockdown.
In a media briefing on Tuesday (12 January), Motsoaledi announced that his department had taken the decision to suspend some services to reduce the number of people who visited Home Affairs offices.
This was to limit the risk of people infecting each other and the staff because social distancing is difficult when you have a large crowd, he said.
“We thought the situation will improve with time as people got used to health protocols. Unfortunately, the situation of not observing protocols, especially social distancing, got worse, and it did so at the time when the speed of the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 was accelerating much faster than it did in the first phase.”
Motsoaledi has subsequently published a national gazette, detailing what services will be available under the extended level 3 lockdown. These include:
- Births registration;
- Re-issuance of births certificates;
- Late registration of birth for learners and pensioners only;
- Death registration;
- Applications for temporary identity certificate;
- Collection of identity cards or documents;
- Applications and collection of passports for those who are exempted to travel;
- Applications for identity (smart) cards or documents for matriculants only;
- All Back Office operational services to support front offices on the above services; and
- Visa services in terms of the Immigration Act for those categories of persons who are exempted to enter the Republic.
Motsoaledi said that Home Affairs offices will continue opening Monday to Friday, from 08h00 to 15h30.
“We are extending our operating hours to 19h00 to accommodate people who need to register deaths and births up to 15 February 2021.
“We are doing so to enable funeral parlours and families to bury their loved ones within the requisite period for Covid-19 deaths.”
The minister appealed to everyone visiting Home Affairs offices to observe Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks properly, observing social distancing and sanitising hands regularly.
Nobody will be allowed to enter any Home Affairs office without a mask, he said.