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Home Affairs open for limited services

Home Affairs will only offer limited services during the 21-day nationwide-lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Home Affairs will have a skeleton staff for the purpose of issuing temporary IDs for those who have lost them and may need to make transactions that are essential, for instance with the bank,” Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi said.

Addressing a media briefing by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster in Tshwane, the minister said there will be no applications for new IDs processed during this time.

“We will issue replacements of birth certificates to those who lost them; for instance, if a child needs child support from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and they have lost birth certificate and SASSA needs it.

“We are issuing these because it is safe to do so. They are repeats. We can easily check them against the Home Affairs National Identification System and the National Population Register,” Motsoaledi said.

Death certificates will be issued, as some people might need to bury their dead. The Government Printing Works will remain open on a skeleton staff for the purpose of printing these documents.

Passports, marriage certificates and new birth certificates will not be issued.

Motsoaledi said operations at the country’s border posts would effectively grind to a halt, with the exception of the movement of essential cargo. The minister said there will be no movement of people at the borders.

“When the President declared the national state of disaster... we closed 35 border posts and were left with 18.  We have decided that the 18 remaining border posts will remain open to allow the movement of goods and essentials… but will be totally closed to the movement of people,” the minister said.

People from neighbouring countries who get healthcare services from South Africa will have to make special arrangements with Home Affairs to access these services.