THE national Department of Home Affairs has announced that several offices across the country will be operating from 7 am to 7 pm until January 11. According to a statement from the department, the Tongaat office will also be opened until 7 pm. This is to ensure that residents are not turned away from the offices during the busy period. According to the department, during a normal shift, people are served from 8 am until 3.30 pm. Spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs Siya Qoza said in a statement: “This is a result of the long queues Home Affairs offices experienced last year at around this time.“The decision to extend the hours for this period is also in support of the war on queues campaign that was launched last year in April.”Qoza added: “The department would like to urge citizens who have already applied for their smart ID cards, and have received notification that their cards are ready, to use this opportunity to collect them.” Those who have not applied for their smart ID cards are encouraged to capitalise on the extended hours and accordingly apply with speed, ahead of the general elections.“All other services will be offered, including applications for, and the collection of, passports, and the registration of births, marriages and deaths,” he said. — Supplied.