Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has put measures in place to deal with long queues at the department’s offices.
Delivering his department’s budget vote in parliament on Wednesday, Motsoaledi cited numerous reasons that contribute to long queues, but emphasised that downtime took the cup.
“It is painful and it generates a lot of anger to visit Home Affairs offices very early in the morning and just stand there and wait for hours on end because the system is down. It is very frustrating, to say the least,” said Motsoaledi.
The minister said the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) would spend R400-million to revamp the department’s entire network, adding that the agency has completed the procurement process.
“Sita has finalised its procurement plan to address cybersecurity for our IT [information technology] infrastructure. This will be implemented during this financial year once law-enforcement agencies have given approval.”
Home Affairs will also hire an additional 764 employees, 517 of whom will serve as frontline staff and 288 are to be employed as immigration officers. Motsoaledi further said the department would soon open offices in shopping malls across the country.
“As an immediate relief measure, we have been engaging several malls in our country. Operating Home Affairs offices at malls will obviate the problem of queuing in the sun or [in the] rain. Malls will provide convenient and safe parking for [our] clients.
“Since the malls have to move tenants around to make way for Home Affairs, we will install our equipment in the malls around September this year. We shall start with Menlyn Mall in Pretoria and then roll out [the offices] to the rest of the country.”