Over 300,000 identity documents (IDs) have not been collected from the department of home affairs and people have been urged to come and collect them as the department of home affairs opened up more services to be provided under Level 2 lockdown.
The number of IDs that have not been collected was announced by Deputy Home Affairs Minister Njabulo Nzuza during Aaron Motsoaledi’s media briefing on Friday outlining the additional services which resumed during alert Level 2 lockdown.
Motsoaledi announced on Friday that home affairs will only be issuing IDs to new applicants and to persons with expired temporary ID certificates (TICs).
“Those certificates which have expired, we are inviting people to come to the office to fetch their IDs,” Motsoaledi said.
Nzuza is leading a programme which the department of home affairs is running in partnership with the department of basic education to assist learners who have never had IDs, many who will be writing their matric examinations, to apply for them, Motsoaledi said.
Nzuza said in the 10 weeks since the programme got underway in June, 62,104 IDs have been issued to learners.
The deputy minister explained that because of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the school calendar, learners can no longer afford to queue at home affairs to apply for or collect their IDs during schooling hours, so through the programme, the department now goes to them.
Motsoaledi said the department of basic education had indicated that there are 637,767 learners who do not have IDs.
Under Level 2, home affairs will only issue passports to persons working in the essential services sector, which include truck drivers, healthcare workers, and to persons leaving the country due to an emergency, the minister said.
Borders and refuge reception centres remain closed, Motsoaledi said.
The minister said the services home affairs will provide under Level 2 resumed on 26 August after the directions authorising the provision of these services was gazetted.
The following services have resumed under Level 2:
- All temporary identity certificates issued during the period of the national state of disaster that have not yet expired on the date of commencement of these directions are hereby extended up to 31 October 2020;
- Applications for identity cards or green barcoded identity documents by persons who have been issued with a temporary identity certificate during the national state of disaster, which certificates have expired;
- Applications for first issue of identity card or green barcoded identity document;
- Applications for amendments of personal particulars;
- Applications for rectification of personal particulars.
Motsoaledi explained that the amendment of personal particulars is when a person wishes to change particulars they had provided to home affairs, while rectification of these is when a person wants to correct errors, which may include incorrect dates of birth or spelling of names.
The minister said South Africans who are abroad who need to return to the country can apply for emergency passports, adding that no financial assistance will be provided by the department.
In the period between 27 March and 21 August, the department issued 347,787 TICs and 65,129 have expired, said Motsoaledi.
The department, in partnership with the banks which participate in the online system for smart ID card and passport applications, has opened for collections for clients who had applied for these documents before the lockdown. This service will only be provided on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the banks’ operating hours, said Motsoaledi.
He added that people who had applied for these documents before 26 March 2020, which is the lockdown’s starting date, may collect their smart ID cards and/or passports from their selected bank branches.
The eHomeAffairs portal remains deactivated as new applications are still not accepted in the current level of the lockdown, the minister said.
The directions and for more detail on the services that the department now provides can be accessed here.