Home Affairs temporarily suspends smart ID, passport applications

13th January 2021 By: Simone Liedtke - Writer

The Department of Home Affairs has temporarily suspended certain activities and services until further notice, owing to the rising number of Covid-19 infections across South Africa.

Services to be suspended until further notice include applications for smart identification (ID) cards, passports and marriage services such as solemnisation and registration.

Only matriculants will be allowed to apply for smart ID cards, while only people who fall in the categories permitted to travel in the amended Disaster Management Act Regulations will be allowed to apply for passports.

Those collecting smart ID cards may not do so unless they are specifically invited via SMS to do so.

The department has also changed some of the modalities in which Home Affairs services are provided, with all births and deaths to be registered at the health facilities where they occur.

These are the 156 health facilities with a Home Affairs office presence.

Mobile units will also assist where offices are either closed or where there is a need for collection or death registration. All offices will have identified designated counters for death registrations.

Home Affairs will continue operating from Monday through to Friday from 08:00 to 15:30.

Operating hours will, in the interim, be extended to 19:00 to accommodate birth and death registrations until February 15.

Further, all 20 land borders have been closed.

The closure will exempt certain services which includes the movement of cargo and commercial goods, emergency medical treatment, movement of diplomats, deportation, people who need to go back to their home countries and allowing South Africans to return and learners who attend school daily in South Africa.