KZN Home Affairs needs to go digital— Pandor

2013-01-11 00:00

THE Department of Home Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal needs to go digital to reduce the paperwork in its offices, Minister Naledi Pandor said yesterday.

“I think we do too much paperwork; we need to computerise more. We need to digitise our information and reduce paper within the department,” said Pandor during her visit to department offices in Umgeni Road in Durban.

She was assessing the delivery of services at the offices in Umgeni Road, the Refugee Reception Centre in Moore Road and the Durban harbour as part of her nationwide visits.

“What we do is to try to get a sense of the service levels within the department and issues confronting those South African nationals and non-nationals as they apply for services in the Department of Home Affairs,” she said.

During a visit to Umgeni Road offices she found queues for customers were managed well. “I like the modern queue services at Umgeni offices,” she said.

Pandor found that the room set aside for mothers to change and feed their children needed to be spruced up. “I think we need to make it attractive.”

Prompted by the large numbers of parents who had came to apply for ID documents for 16-year-old pupils who are to register for Grade 12, she urged parents to apply for ID documents for their children on time and not leave it to the last minute, so that their children could register for exams.

At the Refugee Reception Centre, she was met with complaints about the time it took to process applications for international documents.

Officials told her about foreign nationals who applied for refugee status when they did not qualify.

These included migrant workers with expired temporary residence permits and visitors who wanted their status changed into refugees.

She admitted there were challenges in the immigration area that her department needed to deal with.

Pandor’s visit was welcomed by department officials and customers. “We are happy she came to see how people are queuing. We came early, by 7.30 am, but we are still waiting,” said Malawian Yollam Chirwa, who works for a property agent company.

He said after Pandor perused his application, she was not impressed. On his application form, Chirwa just wrote that he wanted asylum and did not give reasons.

Chirwa told The Witness he wanted a temporary residence permit because his passport has expired, and that his South African bank account was frozen.

Pandor said the permanent appointment of the provincial manager was being finalised. Albert Matsaung is the acting provincial manager.

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