The Department of Home Affairs has reiterated that, despite the country being under lockdown, it is still delivering some of its services.
Services currently rendered, during level 4, include the registration of births, registration of deaths, issuance of temporary identity certificates, collection of smart ID cards, the reissue of birth and death certificates, and passports for essential service workers.
Services are restricted to contain and manage the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is for this reason that limited services are being offered, with the imperative to ensure citizens are enabled to have access to essential services, especially in this difficult time,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.
The services are rendered to citizens and other clients at civic services front offices across the country, between Monday and Friday, from 08.30am to 15.30pm.
Births are registered at health facilities and local home affairs offices. Children not registered during level 5 of the lockdown are to be registered at local home affairs offices.
“Parents are therefore urged to visit their nearest home affairs office to register these children, but to do so within the confines of what is permissible by the regulations in this period,” reads the statement.
The department will not be doing late registrations of births during level 4 of the lockdown.
“However, children born between 26 February 2020 and 3 May 2020 do not fall in the category of late registration of birth. Children born from 4 May 2020 must be registered within the mandatory 30 days of birth.”
The department did, however, on Tuesday inform the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs that it intends to allow late birth registrations during level 3.
The department told the committee that it had processed 57% of the backlog which had been created by level 5.
Registration of deaths
Deaths continue to be registered at local home affairs offices, as was the case during level 5.
Issuance of Temporary Identity Certificates
Temporary Identity Certificates (TICs) are issued at local home affairs offices – on the spot. Those who had lost or misplaced their IDs may apply for the TICs in this period, as no applications for IDs are accepted.
Collection of Smart ID Cards
On 15 May, 2020, the department had 411,390 uncollected smart ID cards. It is imperative for those citizens to collect their smart ID cards.
Smart ID card collection services are provided at all modernised live capture offices. No new applications will be accepted. Therefore, only those who had already applied should collect their smart ID cards. The same applies to green ID books. Only collections are allowed, no applications.
Reissue of documents
Birth and death certificates are also reissued during level 4, for those who may have misplaced or lost their documents.
Passports for essential workers
Passport services will be available only to persons who are engaged in the delivery of essential goods across SA borders and those who are travelling outside of the country for medical services. They must provide, as supporting documents, original letters from the employer or medical practitioner, indicating the need for medical attention outside our borders.
The department will monitor the effective and responsible provision of services in a manner that minimises the risk to staff and clients’ exposure to infection.
“Skeleton staff, shifts and the rotation system will continue to be used as effectively and efficiently as possible,” reads the statement.
The following measures will be in place:
• Monitoring of social distancing by floorwalkers: two-metre markings on the floor, inside and outside offices.
• Using personal protective equipment: hand sanitisers at entrances and inside offices, and the wearing of face masks by all officials and all clients.
• Limiting the number of clients in the office, to ensure social distancing.
• Cleaning of offices regularly with disinfectants.
“All people in the country are encouraged to take every precaution to protect themselves and those around them from this deadly coronavirus,” the department said.