News / South Africa / Elections / Local Elections 2021

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
17 Sep 2021
1:47 pm

Home Affairs can’t promise glitch-free system ahead of voter registration weekend

Citizen Reporter

Certain measures are being taken to 'ensure nothing happens' over the voter registration weekend. 

Picture: Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius

The Department of Home Affairs is readying itself for the upcoming voter registration weekend on Saturday and Sunday, by trying to avoid any possible mishaps and delays. 

But some aspects of the work expected to be done could involve system downtime, which minister Aaron Motsoaledi said during a media briefing on Friday was largely out of their control. 

The issue of system downtime, he conceded, was “giving us sleepless nights”, but said certain measures were being taken to “ensure nothing happens” over the weekend. 

ALSO READ: Elections 2021: Everything you need to know about voter registration weekend

He said 49 information technology technicians have been deployed across the country to try to mitigate any system glitches, but that all problems boil down to the stability of systems controlled by the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) in Centurion, Gauteng. 

“If Sita systems are down, there’s nothing we can do,” Motsoaledi said. 

ID services this weekend

On the bright side, the department will be working hard to assist people collecting their ID books this weekend, and will be deploying over 3,000 employees to assist in the following services: 

  • Issuing temporary ID certificates; 
  • Collection of ID books and smart ID cards; and
  • Resolving challenges of duplications, rectifications and dead/alive cases. 

Motsoaledi said 200 people have been tasked with going through archives to rectify cases where people thought to be dead were in fact alive. 

103,239 IDs remain uncollected throughout the country, and in light of the upcoming voter registration weekend, people are being encouraged to visit home affairs offices to collect their documents as soon as possible.

ALSO READ: KZN’s Nkonyeni warns against intolerance ahead of voter registration weekend

Home Affairs offices open this weekend 

A number of home affairs offices will be open throughout the weekend.

These include “modernised” offices, which can issue barcoded IDs and passports and have generators, and “legacy offices”, which can issue green ID books, but have no generators. 

Mobile units, most of which will be parked near legacy offices, will also circulate, to provide support should electricity supply be a problem. 

Here are the details: 

  • Gauteng: 43 offices open – 29 modernised, three legacy offices and five mobile units. Banks will also be open across the province.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 56 offices open – 29 modernised, 27 legacy offices, two banks open.
  • Western Cape: 28 offices open – 27 modernised, eight mobile units, four banks open – in Mitchells Plain, Greenmarket Square, Greenpoint and Canal Walk.
  • Eastern Cape: 54 offices open, 32 modernised, 22 legacy offices and 14 mobile units.
  • Limpopo: 22 modernised offices open, 20 legacy offices, 12 mobile units and one bank in Bekkersfort.
  • Mpumalanga: 31 offices open – 20 modernised, 11 legacy, 10 mobile units and one bank in Nelspruit.
  • North West: 18 offices open – 17 modernised, 1 legacy, six mobile units.
  • Free State: 21 offices open – 13 modernised, eight legacy, seven mobile units.
  • Northern Cape: 16 offices open – 15 modernised, one legacy, nine mobile unit.

Compiled by Nica Richards