The department of home affairs has announced an increase in services during national lockdown alert level 3, which has come into effect from 1 June, saying that it needs to balance access to documentation with the safety of employees and people visiting its offices alike.
In addition to services offered under level 4, it will also provide marriage services and receive requests for late registration of births, by appointment.
The services include issuance of uncollected Identity Documents (IDs) and of temporary ID certificates, as well as of passports to those in export and cargo transport, registrations of births and deaths, and reissue of birth and death certificates.
The department says it will continue to open its doors from Monday to Friday between 8.30am to 3.30pm.
Couples who wish to marry in this period are required to call their nearest home affairs office to book an appointment and on the day of the ceremony, they will visit the offices with only their witnesses, to keep numbers down to a bare minimum.
“An appointment is also required when applying for a late registration of birth (LRB), which refers to a birth registration application lodged after 30 days of such a birth.
“Children born during the lockdown will not follow the LRB process. This includes children who were born from 26 February 2020 but could not be registered because of the lockdown.”
The department said that 133,251 births were registered between 27 March and 28 May.” Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal each registered more than 27,000 children during this period.”
It also said that 68,768 deaths were registered and 55,761 temporary identity certificates were issued, “showing a high demand for these certificates as is the case also for re-issuance of birth certificates”.
“In total, 51,844 birth certificates were replaced. To support economic activity and food security, 475 passports were issued to those in export and cargo transport.
However, it said that 66,665 uncollected smart ID cards were cleared. “This is a drop in the ocean considering that the number of uncollected smart ID cards exceeds 411,000,” the department said.
The department said that all offices had been disinfected and that people visiting offices should observe lockdown protocols, wearing masks and physical distancing inside and outside the premises.
As part of coordinated security operations, the Inspectorate will ensure that any undocumented or illegal nationals who are detained will be subject to deportation, it said.
Refugee offices would remain closed but that permits issued lawfully and which expired during the lockdown would be valid until 31 July, it said.
“No visa or permit functions will be open in SA and at missions abroad during level 3 lockdown.”
The department said that public enqiries should be addressed made at 0800 60 90 11 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-ANA, Editing by Naomi Mackay