SA Home Affairs Has Extended Business Hours for Part of January

The South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced that it will be extending its operating hours from 2 – 11 January 2019 to keep up with demand over the busy holiday period. In a statement released recently, the DHA said that several of its offices across the country will operate from 07h00 to 19h00.

The department said the decision to extend operating hours came after long queues were experienced in some centers at the same time last year.

“Extending office hours at large offices and selected medium offices will help ensure citizens and clients are not turned away before receiving the services they require,” said department spokesperson Siya Qoza. “This will assist also in managing queues so that people do not spend a long time waiting to be served.”

Qoza further urged citizens to use this opportunity to collect their Smart ID cards if they have received a notification.

“Those who have not applied for their smart ID cards are encouraged to capitalize on the extended hours and accordingly apply with speed, ahead of the general elections,” he said. “All other services will be offered, including applications for and collection of passports and registration of births, marriages and deaths”.

You can find a full list of offices which will offer extended business hours here.


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Home Affairs Umgeni Staff Commended

This letter was written by D Boardwin, and sent to Berea Mail.

My passport expired on 19 June and I had to renew both my partner’s and mine simultaneously.

After having read so many negative comments about Home Affairs I was pretty apprehensive about going through the process and this is where my whole perception of Home Affairs changed.We visited the Home Affairs in Umgeni Road on Tuesday, 13 August at 8.30am and by 10.30am we were out with the 100 others before us. This they achieved notwithstanding being short of one camera,which is the most time consuming part of the process. The staff were very courteous and very organised and efficient.

The only negative comment I have to make is in respect of some people who sat in the queue of seats just moaning every step of the way – of the 100 or so there were four or five at the most who just couldn’t handle sharing the queue with anyone else. I guessed that this small minority were spoilt in the past (prior 1994) and that should explain everything.

On Monday, 19 August, four working days after I applied, I received an SMS informing me that the passports were ready for collection. At 11.45am we entered the Home Affairs Collections Division and by 12pm we were back in our car.

Need I say more – I believe that South Africans must accept that things have changed and its time for them to change with the times.

Home Affairs Umgeni Offices have my vote of confidence. We need to be more supportive and positive. Churchill once said that “if you nothing good to say, then don’t say anything.”


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SA Home Affairs: Budget Cuts Will Not Results in Office Closures

The South African Department of Home Affairs says that compulsory budget cuts will not mean it has to close any of its offices, but will have a “negative impact on the filling of some posts”.

Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, confirmed his department was facing compulsory budget cuts in reply to a Parliamentary question from the DA’s Joseph McGluwa.

“Budget cuts will have a negative impact on the filling of some posts, but we are not envisioning closure of any Home Affairs office,” he said.

Details of the cuts are contained in a document published by National Treasury in June. The paper provides national departments and public entities with guidelines of how to prepare their budget submissions.

It refers to a compulsory budget baseline reduction scenario of:

  • 5 percent in 2020/21;
  • 6 percent in 2021/22; and
  • 7 percent in 2022/23.

Departments must show how they can make cuts with the least impact for service delivery, and must suggest “non-priority programs and projects to be scaled down or closed.


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Opinion: Home Affairs Needs Attention

Various ward councillors and officials in the Randburg area held a site visit at the Randburg Department of Home Affairs on 8 April.

There they met with the management of the department to discuss the current state of the facilities.

In the past year, ward councillors worked hard to improve the parking area for visitors to the department. “There is still no proper waiting area for those who are coming to apply for their IDs, birth and marriage certificates,” said Ward 104 councillor Mike Wood.

Constituency Head Kate Lorimer said, “This particular home affairs covers a vast area of Johannesburg. We are all aware of how low the morale of the staff members are at the Randburg Home Affairs, and it tends to provide an unhappy experience for those coming to apply for various documents. There is an important project that needs to be undertaken by the government to upgrade this very busy Home Affairs.”

Wood continued, “In ward 104, I and my fellow ward 102 councillor David Potter are working hard to get this facility sorted out. Home Affairs have been in the press lately for all the wrong reasons, and this one is a prime example. The toilets and the kitchens are in a diabolical state, and the Department of Home Affairs needs to step up to the plate. The working conditions for staff leave a lot to be desired.”

Wood stated that the main aim of the visit was to see how facilities could be upgraded for both staff and visitors to make sure that the experience of coming to home affairs is a pleasant one for all.

Wood also said that there is a budget to improve both the Roodepoort and Randburg departments, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.

“We need to start with improving the basics, for instance, waiting areas and abolition facilities. The services themselves are good, so good in fact that more and more people from the surrounding areas are making use of this home affairs and not ones closer to them,” Wood added.

During the meeting with home affairs officials, any plans to upgrade the facilities would take place during this financial year.

“Unfortunately, as ward councillors in this regard, we don’t have the power to physically handle the matter ourselves, and all we can do is push the Department of Home Affairs itself to take action.”

Member of the Provincial Legislature in Gauteng Makashule Gana added, “Another important issue to raise is the fact there are over 3 500 identity documents waiting to be collected. With huge elections just around the corner, we urge the community to collect their IDs to make sure they can vote on voting day.”


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The Department of Home Affairs Visa Application Center Holiday Season Closing Dates 2017

VFS will be closed on certain days during the Holiday Season.

2017/2018 Holiday Season closures

  • VFS final day of submissions for 2017: 20 December
  • Only collections will remain open: 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 December
  • Collection timings: 08h00 to 14h00
  • Christmas and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December): Closed
  • New Year’s Day (1 January 2018): Closed
  • VFS Closed: 2 January 2018
  • VFS to reopen for submissions: 3 January 2018

For more information, visit:

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