A countrywide “war on queues” at Home Affairs offices has been declared and it seems the battle on the ground began in earnest. KwaZulu-Natal was in the department’s sights on Monday.

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba says the shortage of resources and staff are challenges facing the department that need to be addressed urgently.

Gigaba visited Home Affairs offices in Pietermaritsburg and Durban to officially launch the programme called “War on Queues”.

Gigaba says the department will take the necessary action to deal with the department’s workers who are incompetent.

 

On average, about 1000 people a day visit this Home Affairs office, for various services. A common complaint is the amount of time spent there.

Reportedly, successes in reducing turnaround times for the production of documents have been made. However, more work needs to be done countrywide to reduce queues.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says: “I have directed the top management to also regularly visit unannounced our offices. There are a number of plans which I have instructed them to do including over the next 30 days compiling for me an action plan for certain offices which need intervention and ensuring that we pilot an integrated one stop work station. We need to begin to finalise with national treasury and the banks the roll out plan for the triple p with the banks and there are a number of action plans I have directed should be implemented. We intent through those to ensure that within the next 12 months we did away with the queues at home affairs.”

The aim is to provide higher quality, faster and smarter services.

He says he’s concerned about several queries from members of the public and the media on delayed processes and long queues at Home Affairs.

“We will be commissioning a customer satisfaction survey, to get the client contact centre working optimally and find a solution for unpredictable walk-in clients and for front office space. Explore possibilities of a new shift system, attend to the unstable system and scale up unannounced visits by senior managers to offices.”