Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced a complete revamp of his department’s systems in a move to cut down on long queues, including plans to introduce branches in shopping centres.
Presenting his departmental budget speech on Tuesday (24 May), Motsoaledi said that while his department is in the process of building new branches, the introduction of Home Affairs outlets inside shopping malls will provide for ‘immediate relief’ in areas which already have high footfall.
“Operating Home Affairs offices at malls will obviate the problem of queuing in the sun or rain. Malls will also provide convenient and safe parking for clients,” he said.
Motsoaledi confirmed that discussions are already underway with the following shopping malls around the country:
- Menlyn Mall in Tshwane
- Cresta Mall in Johannesburg
- Southgate Mall in Johannesburg
- The Pavillion in eThekwini
- Tygervalley Mall in Cape Town
“Since the malls still have to move some tenants around to make way for Home Affairs, we will install our equipment there around September this year. We shall start with the Menlyn Mall in Pretoria and then roll out to the rest,” he said.
Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS)
Motsoaledi also confirmed that his department was expanding its new online booking system called BABS (Branch Appointment Booking System).
The system, which is presently being piloted in 24 of the busiest offices, will be rolling out this system to more outlets in the coming months, he said.
“The pilot started in December last year at the Byron and Akasia offices in a hybrid model allowing booked and walk-in clients. A total of 33 463 people have used the system between December 2021 and 13 May 2022.
“Apart from making sure that there are no queues in the Home Affairs offices where it is implemented, the BABS system will help eradicate corruption by making sure that those who practice the obnoxious behaviour of selling queue spaces have no clients because clients book straight online and come at the appropriate time, and hence they have no need to buy space from anybody in the queue.”