Home Affairs “disfranchising” numerous South Africans

2021-10-12
Jaco Mulder

The FF Plus is being inundated with complaints by registered voters who are unable to obtain new or substitute identity and travel documentation as a result of the serious backlog at the Department of Home Affairs, which means that it often takes months for essential documents to be issued.

The issuing of new identity and travel documents had been paralysed long before Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on 28 September 2021 that the Department will once again start issuing new identity documents and passports in terms of the adjusted Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Numerous complaints from all over the country indicate that many of the Department's local offices either do not respond to new applications at all or take exceptionally long to process applications while the Department's national helpline just keeps ringing.

The service delivery of the Department, which was already backlogged long before the Covid-19 restrictions, has now deteriorated to such an extent that many registered voters are in effect being "disfranchised" as a result of the Department's failure because they will simply not be in possession of a valid ID before the countrywide municipal elections take place on 1 November.

A great number of international trips were also hampered, resulting in great financial losses, because the Department failed to provide the required travel documents in time.

The FF Plus will keep putting pressure on the Department to ensure that it fulfils its mandate as protector and regulator of South African identity.



 


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