Government needs brains

Government needs brains

MADE PROGRESS: Sandra Horne eventually got a smart ID

Service delivery must start going high tech

Everyone has their own Home Affairs horror story. Munier has had plenty of grief from the department over the years.
If you remember, his motjie got banned from re-entering South Africa a few years ago over residence permit issues.

Fortunately, after a moerse long battle, that issue is behind the Grootbek family.

Recently, there was some more (mild) frustration when Munier applied for a passport for his laaitie.

At the Barrack Street city office, we waited three hours for passport photos.

Yes, there are less busy branches, but do you have to trek around the city to get quick, efficient service?

The actual pictures took all of 30 seconds – but three hours of sitting and waiting our turn with a toddler? Eish…

The passport boekie itself took two weeks to issue. Not bad, that’s actually an improvement. Credit where it’s due.

But residence permits take over a year to process. It’s a long, anxious wait for foreigners.

For an unabridged birth certificate? Try at least six months.

Then when you finally get your hands on that dun stukkie papier that is printed on an old Dot Matrix, you ask yourself, “six months for this?”

This is one department that is making life seriously miserable for lots of people.

One such person is Sandra Horne.

The Athlone woman suffers from a rare skin disease that has rendered her fingerprints invisible.

Home Affairs’ equipment could not read her prints, and as a result she could not get an ID.

With the Daily Voice’s help, Sandra eventually managed to bypass the red tape and get her new smart card.

It took a high-tech company, Bytes Systems Integration, with their special software and hardware, to detect her fingerprints.

Now if Home Affairs could only switch over to more modern systems, they’d have a lot more happy customers.

SAPS too. There’s far too much manual paperwork for officers and civilians to put up with.

While crooks are getting more and more tech-savvy, cop shops are still filling in statements and affidavits by hand.

Arguably the only department that is switched on is SARS.

Long queues and files of papers are a thing of the past.

With e-filing, you can do your hele jaar se wages in minutes.

Very kwaai.

It’s just a pity the best department is the one that takes our money – and not the ones that service our needs!

Under Pravin Gordhan, SARS became a major success story.

Now, if he could take charge of some of our other struggling state-owned enterprises.

SAA has flown even further into a poepstorm.

The treasury confirmed this week that it will bail out the airline to settle its R2.3 billion debt.

At the SABC, things are just as deurmekaar.

After the broadcaster pulled the plug on chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, on Wednesday, Maijang Mpherwane resigned as General Manager of SABC 1, 2, 3 and Encore.

Other state-owned entities like Eskom and Denel have been implicated in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report.

This week ANC bigwigs said they want people with the “best brains” to occupy senior and managerial positions in order to restore the integrity of the government.

Well, they can start right at the top.

Munier Grootbek will be taking a break for a few weeks. He will return on 4 August.

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