The Department of Home Affairs is working on a number of initiatives to cut down on queues in its offices around the country.
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.
“In April 2018, the Minister directed the department to conduct an assessment in order to develop intervention strategies that will deal with the challenges long queues,” he said.
This eventually led to the development of the ‘war on queues campaign’, he said.
“In terms of addressing uncoordinated communication strategies, the announcement of the war on queues campaign will be made through the media,” he said.
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.
In July, Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that his department is ‘on a journey’ to modernise all of its backend legacy systems and automate all front-end processes to issue vital documents.
“To date, the department has automated front-end processes of issuing IDs, Passports, Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates,” he said.
“The system development programme is ongoing and backend legacy systems are still to be completed to ensure full integration rather than the current multiple interfaces which are not ideal and causes intermittent downtimes.”
Motsoaledi said that the network infrastructure in which all the DHA systems run on is provided for by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and is often a cause of system downtime.
“A comprehensive assessment was done by SITA in the last financial year and produced a new network architecture and implementation plan which will provide a fully redundant and high availability network throughout the DHA footprint,” he said.