Home Affairs back online after technical glitch

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Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

The Department of Home Affairs has announced its systems are back online after a “technical glitch.”

South Africans were left frustrated on Thursday after the glitch on the State Information Technology Agency’s (SITA) mainframe affected the National Population Register.

The disruption in services meant South Africans were unable to access services relating to the issuing or processing of documents, including IDs and passports, at several affected branches.

Back online

Home Affairs Department spokesperson Siya Qoza said the system went back online from midday on Thursday.

“Services were available to citizens and other clients. Technicians from the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) are monitoring the system to ensure that the solution is sustainable. Further updates will be provided where necessary.”The Home Affairs Department thanked citizens and clients for their patience.

Postbank

Last year, a technical glitch in Postbank’s payment systems left thousands of Sassa grant recipients, including pensioners, unable to collect their money from ATMs, the post office, or retailers.

Postbank distributes grants on behalf of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Director of human rights organisation the Black Sash, Rachel Bukasa, said the crisis had caused “a dignity issue”.

Visas

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of foreign executives, engineers and other key workers have endured a year-long wait for South African visas that business groups said is costing investment and threatening the country’s position as a continental hub.

According to AFP, government has acknowledged that a skill shortage is throttling development and a huge backlog in visa processing has worsened the problem.

Long visa waits are common in much of the world but South Africa has some of the biggest jams, business groups say.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told a parliamentary committee in September that severe understaffing meant 74,000 applications for all types of visas were awaiting processing.

 

The Citizen / Faizel Patel