Home Affairs tariff hike is reckless – DA

2011-03-28 13:02

The increase of tariffs by the department of home affairs for identity documents (ID) and passports is reckless, the Democratic Alliance said today.

“These increases will hurt those at the bottom end of the income ladder the most,” DA MP Annette Lovemore said in a statement.

“They have been made without proper consultation or parliamentary oversight, and they will disenfranchise South Africans of their rights.”

The cost for a reissued identity document or for a temporary identity document had been increased by 600%, from R20 to R140, she said.

The cost of a passport increased by 110% from R190 to R400.

Lovemore said increasing the cost of these documents made it unaffordable to many South Africans, particularly the unemployed.

“This is a reckless move that will make it a lot harder for ordinary South Africans to vote, open bank accounts and carry out all manner of other important activities,” she said.

The DA was asking Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to put the tariff increase on hold and to revisit the announced tariffs and reduce them.

Last week home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni made the announcement about the tariff hikes.

He said the issuing of an ID would remain free of charge, but the cost of reissuing would go up. The same applied for temporary identity certificates.

Apleni said the annual tariff hikes, which would take effect from April 1, had already been approved by the National Treasury and gazetted.

“The state needs to recover the costs. There is nothing new to this. It happens annually. People know,” said Apleni, who described the costs as reasonable.

He denied that the tariff increases had anything to do with whether the department was running at a loss.

He said the production of the documents was proving to be expensive.

The department recently called on people to collect about 500 000 IDs gathering dust at the home affairs offices.

Apleni said a process was under way to clean up the National Population Register, as the duplication of ID numbers was causing a lot of problems.

The department had identified 598 000 instances of duplicate IDs.

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