Department of Home Affairs’ poor service delivery is leaving people desperate

Issued by Angel Khanyile, MP – DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs
19 Feb 2023 in News

The DA’s Home Affairs help desk is inundated with emails from desperate applicants who have been flatly ignored by the Department every time that they try to follow up on their applications. The applicants advise us they have received no feedback on their submitted applications, for both civic services and immigration – with calls going unanswered when they try to follow up.

Instead of dealing with complaints and follow ups on an ad-hoc basis, the DA is calling on the Department of Home Affairs to have a dedicated unit that is responsible for dealing with cases that have been clogged in the system for extended periods of time.

Service delivery in the Department has become so bad that some of the outstanding applications date back as far as 2016.

People’s lives have been left in limbo as they seek resolution for surname change, unabridged birth certificates, fixing of misspelt personal details, cases struck off the system due to system failure, including permanent and visa applications.

The DA’s Home Affairs help desk have brought cases forwarded to us by applicants to the attention of the Department but after numerous emails and phone calls, the majority of these cases have remained unresolved.

In 2022, we brought this issue to the attention of Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Chairperson Hon. Mosa Chabane. When this issue was raised in the Portfolio Committee, the Minister requested that we copy his Personal Assistant when we send emails and they will ensure all these cases are treated with the urgency they deserve. We followed that advice, but there has seen little improvement.

The Department of Home Affairs must work to improve its systems and ensure that they are responsive to applicants, whose lives are left in limbo with no one to turn to. A complaints clearing unit will be a critical first step towards better service delivery in the Department.