SAns living abroad to wait 6 months for finalisation of passport applications

This was revealed by Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in a written parliamentary reply on Tuesday.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - South Africans abroad could wait up to half a year for their passport applications to be finalised by the Department of Home Affairs.

This was revealed by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in a written parliamentary reply on Tuesday.

Motsoaledi was responding to a question from Democratic Alliance MP Joe McGluwa who asked the minister whether he was aware of any serious delays in the processing of SA passport applications and other documentation at consulates abroad.

Motsoaledi said the reason the turn-around time for applications abroad was six months was because the process involved third parties, such as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

This process required the overseas dispatching of government documents like passport applications through diplomatic bags, which was a controlled procedure that Dirco administrated for all departments.

But McGluwa said it was concerning that it was not only domestic home affairs processes that were delayed but international applications too.

“… anything with home affairs just takes too long,” he said.

Motsoaledi said the department was looking into a permanent solution through its modernisation programme to ensure that applications made abroad or domestically could be captured and transferred electronically. He said this would substantially reduce dependency on manual, time-consuming processes presently being applied.