The Mitchells Plain Home Affairs is being revved up to assist more people.
Management has committed to working extra hours, restructuring queue management and using mobile units to tackle congestion.
This comes after a slew of complaints which led to a visit by the DA’s Reagan Allen, Ricardo Mackenzie and other party members last month to inspect conditions residents are met with when visiting the office.
The group said they were appalled to see mothers with newborn babies, pregnant women and disabled people in long queues, some from as early as 3am.
In a response to the group’s memorandum received by the district manager Irmgard Michaels, officials highlighted how all Home Affairs offices in the Western Cape were experiencing high client volumes exacerbated by backlogs created by lockdowns, reports the Weekend Argus.
“As an immediate intervention, the department implemented and maintained a strict queue management policy to ensure that vulnerable clients such as first-time ID applicants (learners), aged/frail and mothers with babies are prioritised at opening time,” read their response.
In a bid to address long queues, Michaels said staff begin serving clients 15 minutes before the opening time and stay an hour after closing hours.
Birth registration services at three Mitchells Plain hospitals would also be increased while mobile units which work across the Metro will be deployed to high schools to help new ID applicants.
“It is envisaged to service the Darul Arqaam Muslim School during the second week of May. It also is envisaged by the department to procure additional mobile units to service the Cape Metro area,” said Michaels.
Mackenzie said they remained worried about the lack of a clear plan for the new offices: “Winter is coming and clients will stand in the rain.”
He said they were also concerned that only two mobile units were functional to service the Metro.
“These units are serving millions of people that can’t afford to go to home affairs,” he explained.