Home Affairs to open secondary branch in Stellenbosch following DA petition to Parliament

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Constituency Head: Stellenbosch
15 Jun 2023 in News

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

In response to a petition submitted by the DA’s Dr Leon Schreiber to Parliament, the Department of Home Affairs indicated on Tuesday that a new secondary branch will be opened at the ABSA building on the corner of Plein and Ryneveld Streets. According to the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, the branch is scheduled to open on 26 June 2023.

This marks an important step forward in the DA’s ongoing work to improve the quality of Home Affairs in the Stellenbosch area. Home Affairs falls under the control of national government and is not managed by DA-led Stellenbosch Municipality. But that does not mean that we can turn a blind eye to the issues residents experience at Home Affairs.

As a result of the DA’s work on this matter, Stellenbosch residents will soon be able to enjoy expanded options and services. The new secondary branch will offer an online booking service, two counters, a photo booth and a waiting area, and will enable residents to obtain ID cards and passports.

Over the past few years, the DA has been inundated by complaints that Home Affairs in Stellenbosch is often “offline,” that there are too few staff members, and that waiting times are inordinately long. In February last year, Dr Schreiber asked the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to account for these ongoing issues. In his response, Motsoaledi conceded that the Stellenbosch office only has 6 out of the 41 staff members required to deliver adequate services and that the office is too small to serve the 222 people who queue there every day.

The DA consequently circulated a petition in the community. After collecting hundreds of signatures from Stellenbosch residents who were tired of poor services at Home Affairs, we formally submitted the petition to Parliament last year. On Tuesday, 13 June, the portfolio committee on Home Affairs responded to the DA’s petition, indicating that the ABSA branch would open on 26 June to relieve pressure on the system.

The DA will continue to closely monitor service delivery at Home Affairs, and to ensure that the department delivers on its promise to expand capacity and improve quality. Although a healthy dose of skepticism is always required when it comes to promises from national government, we are pleased to see that pressure conveyed by the community through the DA is yielding fruits.

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