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New times for home affairs

By Staff Writer
By Ashleigh Brown, journalist, Justmoney

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will now be open for longer, said DHA Director-General Mukuseli Apleni. This is in a bid to improve services to clients. 
 
The new times will also ensure DHA offices have enough staff to attend to all clients professionally.
 
“The decision on new opening and closing hours followed an extensive consultative process with organized labour as well as benchmarking with relevant stakeholders, both internal and external,” said Apleni. 
 
Apleni added that the new opening and closing hours will benefit the Department’s clients, managers, staff members and the organisation as a whole. 
 
“Importantly, the new opening and closing hours will afford managers and staff sufficient time to interact with each other on service delivery matters and front office operations,” said Apleni. 
 
The new times were implemented from March, 1.
 
The new times
 
The DHA said that the new times will be as follows: 
 
Office hours Monday to Friday: 07h30 until 16h30 (Public hours 08h00 until 16h00)
Office hours Saturdays: 08h00 until 13h00 (Public hours 08h30 until 12h30)
Office hours last Wednesday of every month: 07h30 until 16H30 (Public hours 09h00 until 16H00)
 
Modernising DHA
 
Apleni also announced that the DHA was in the process of being modernised. 
 
“We started the current process of modernising our systems in 2013, to improve efficiencies and turnaround times for producing and issuing enabling documents to our clients. This meant transforming work processes in our back offices and front offices,” said Apleni. 
 
The DHA moved away from the old manual system of capturing information, into the new Live Capture system for the Smart-ID cards and the new passports. 
 
“We embarked on the modernisation programme chiefly to enhance the services we offer to South Africa’s citizens and other nationals in the country,” said Apleni. 
 
Along with this, many banks will also now have home affairs kiosks to help customers apply for their new Smart-ID cards. 
 
“The department identified the introduction of the Smart-ID card and the new passport as the leading elements of the modernisation programme.

"To date, of the 403 Home Affairs offices we have, 110 are equipped with the Live Capture system, for the processing of Smart-ID cards and new passports. By March 2015 we will have reached 140 offices,” said Apleni. 

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