Rush for IDs: hundreds at Home Affairs

2011-05-18 00:00

A LONG queue formed outside the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs offices in Church Street yesterday as voters rushed to get their identity documents before the elections today. The office will be open until 7 pm today.

The department received 931 new IDs that were ready for collection yesterday from its head office in Pretoria. Since Saturday the office has received 1 657 IDs.

When The Witness visited the department yesterday, the queue was so long that most people had to stand outside.

The department’s door closed at 7 pm with people still lining up to fetch their long-awaited ID books.

Home Affairs district manager Ayanda Mbatha said she and most of her staff have already cast their special votes and are working hard to make sure that everyone else gets an opportunity to vote.

An 18-year-old first-time voter, Ayanda Tshabalala of Edendale, said he was ecstatic when he received an SMS on Saturday telling him that his ID was ready.

“I really feel relieved and excited. For the first time I really feel like I can make a difference in my community because I’ll put someone that I trust will do a good job in my area,” Tshabalala said.

The department said they have been “very busy” because people are responding fast to the SMSes.

 

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