Motsoaledi: Decision to limit Home Affairs services carefully considered

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the decision to temporarily suspend certain services was made after careful consideration.

FILE: Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaled i said that the decision to temporarily suspend certain services was made after careful consideration.

For the better part of the lockdown Home Affairs offices were closed to limit the number of visits.

In the first eight days of this year, 116 staff members had already tested positive for the coronavirus.

In the first 10 days of this year, seven front office workers at Home Affairs workers lost their lives to COVID-19.

Motsoaledi said that that was why on-site services must remain limited: “Except for matriculants, we will not entertain an application for a smart ID, applications for passports except for people who fall in the categories that are permitted to travel in the amended disaster management regulations.”

ALSO READ: Travellers need permission to pass through SA borders - Motsoaledi

Services such as the certification of marriage are on hold for now.

“We are aware this will be difficult on people, but please bear with us because we have to save lives.”

South Africans have been urged to go to Home Affairs offices only if it is necessary.

WATCH: Limited Home Affairs services on adjusted Level 3 lockdown

Motsoaledi said closing the country's land borders had nothing to do with South Africa's migration problem and is only intended to curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“When we close borders, we are not only stopping people from coming in, we are also stopping the movement of South Africans to other countries and spreading the disease because we have got the highest prevalence of the disease at the moment.”

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.