Parties urge Ramaphosa to address Home Affairs ID collection ‘crisis’

Durban Metro Police Service

Durban Metro Police Service

Published May 26, 2024


With just days to go before the national and provincial elections in South Africa, political parties have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the looming crisis of uncollected identity documents at Home Affairs as a matter of urgency.

In a letter dated May 24, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa wrote to Ramaphosa informing him of reports from across the country indicating that there was a pattern of Home Affairs’ systems being down since May 22, essentially preventing South Africans from collecting their IDs.

Holomisa said the costs associated with obtaining temporary IDs just to vote had to be addressed promptly as this pointed to the disenfranchising of the affected South Africans from exercising their right to vote, especially given that special voting takes place today and tomorrow.

“We call on you to make serious and urgent intervention in this situation with Home Affairs, for the timing of this ‘systems problem’ raises suspicions of political expediency in favour of certain political players.

“The nation requires a report of what has caused the system to malfunction and what steps, if any, were taken to bring the system back online and how many IDs remain uncollected at Home Affairs. Home Affairs must be made to open its doors over the weekend and South Africans must be issued temporary IDs free of charge,” he wrote.

The DA’s Adrian Roos also called on Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to urgently ensure that technical issues which resulted in a system off-line error whereby attempts to collect identity documents with a fingerprint were resolved.

Roos said despite the crisis it was worrying that there had been no communication from the Department of Home Affairs on the issue on their social media platforms or their website.

“We call on the minister to regularly communicate on this issue and ensure its swift resolution. With the national and provincial elections starting on Monday it is absolutely critical that citizens be able to collect their identity documents to vote to Rescue South Africa,” he said.

Efforts were made to contact the Department of Home Affairs for comments regarding the system glitches which affected the collection of IDs. However, responses were not available at the time of going to print.

The Star

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