Home Affairs limits services to prioritise rapid rise in death registrations
12 days ago
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement during a media briefing on Tuesday 12 January 2021.
The following services have been suspended until further notice:
- Applications of Smart ID Cards, except for matriculants
- Applications for passports, except for people who fall in the categories permitted to travel in the amended Disaster Management Act Regulations
- Marriage services such as solemnisation and registration
Motsoaledi says the decision to limit services was made due to the alarming Covid-19 statistics at Home Affairs offices and the rise in demand for the issuing of death certificates.
We are aware this will be difficult on people. Please bear with us. We are trying to save lives while providing enabling documents.Aaron Motsoaledi - Home Affairs Minister
In the first eight days of January 2021, 116 staff members nationwide have already tested positive for Covid-19.
At the same time, at least seven front office workers at Home Affairs workers have died due to the virus between 1 January and 10 January this year.
Motsoaledi says Home Affairs officers were overwhelmed by the demand for death registrations in December 2020.
The Department registered 55,676 deaths last month. On 4 and 5 January 2021, the first two working days of the year, the Department registered 10,982 deaths.
Based on the upward trend, the minister predicts that there will be an exponential demand for death certificates this month, exceeding numbers in December.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs has proposed that all births and deaths should be registered at the health facilities where they occur.
There are 156 health facilities where Home Affairs has a presence. You can find a list of these hospitals here.
Motsoaledi says mobile units will assist where offices are either closed or where there is a need for collection or death registration, and all offices have identified designated counters for death registrations.
"We are extending our operating hours to 7pm to accommodate people who need to register deaths and births up to 15 February 2021. We are doing so to enable funeral parlours and families to bury their loved ones within the requisite period for Covid-19 deaths", he said in a statement.
Applicants have been urged not to visit branches for ID collections unless they receive confirmation via an SMS.
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Home Affairs limits services to prioritise rapid rise in death registrations