Home affairs to extend its hours at these branches during winter holiday

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has approved a temporary extension of operating times at selected offices by two hours until July 15.

This is to cater for to a surge in demand during the winter school holidays.

The extension is only for the application and collection of smart ID cards and passports.

“This extension is critical for service delivery. It is part of our many strategies to eliminate long queues at our offices while ensuring people receive the enabling documents they apply for,” said Motsoaledi.

Home affairs working hours will be extended to 6pm this year in the holidays.

“We will ensure that every client inside the selected offices at the time of closing receives services.”

The new hours exclude weekends.

The department encouraged the public to use the branch appointment booking system to schedule visits.

Which offices are included?

The selected offices for extended hours are in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, the North West, Mpumalanga, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

The extended hours also include selected bank branches in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“No walk-ins are allowed at banks. You can only visit a bank branch once you have made an online application and booked your visit,” said the department.

Branches in shopping malls on the cards

In May, Motsoaledi said the department would open more branches in shopping malls to reduce long queues. He revealed this during his department’s budget vote debate.

“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.

As the malls have to move some tenants around to make way for home affairs, the department will install equipment in September.

The department will start with five malls — three in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and the other in Cape Town.

 

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