Home Affairs services temporarily unavailable

The Department of Home Affairs has announced that its services are not available at the moment.

This is due to a technical problem on the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) mainframe which affects access to the National Population Register (NPR).

Matter receiving attention

“We have contacted SITA and have been assured that its technicians and engineers are attending to the matter. [The department] hopes that this will not take long to be resolved,” the department said on its website.

“We will provide further updates.

“The Department apologises to citizens and clients for the inconvenience caused.”

The department offers services which include passports, identity documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates. They also provide information on the number of babies who were born.

Festive season preparedness

The glitch does not seem to have had a major impact on travellers as we reach the end of the festive season. Border management seems to have not been affected either. However, some of the key services will still be unavailable during this glitch.

In early December, the department announced its preparedness for the festive season.

“As the Border Management Authority (BMA), we have convened this media briefing today in order to update South Africa and the rest of the world on our planning and state of preparedness,” said the department’s agency.

Border law enforcement

“This is for facilitating and managing the legitimate movement of people and goods across our ports of entry and the border law enforcement area. The process is required of us by section 5 of the BMA Act.

“This message is particularly directed to those who are intending to use any of our 72 ports of entry for entering and or leaving South Africa in this upcoming 2023 festive period.

December border arrests

In early December the minister welcomed commendable management of South African borders by the BMA. This was following a successful sting operation at the Beitbridge Port of Entry on December 3.

The BMA Border Guard, the Counter Corruption and Security Services and members of the South African Police Service conducted a sting operation. The operation was at the Beitbridge Port of Entry wherein 42 buses from Zimbabwe were stopped and searched.

It was alleged that during the search, 443 unaccompanied minors under the age 8 were found in the buses. They were allegedly being trafficked into South Africa, with no proof of consent from their parents or guardians.

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