Home affairs extends office hours after nationwide downtime

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Home Affairs/ Photo: Supplied

The Department of Home Affairs will be extending its office hours after its systems went offline nationwide on Friday.

The department said the office hours will be extended until 18:30 on Monday evening, The Citizen reports.

The systems went offline nationwide due to a cable breakage.

The damaged cable was connected to the State Information Technology Agency (Sita).

“The Department of Home Affairs wishes to inform members of the public that services at the department have been restored. The department and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) have been able to fix the cable breakage that impacted service delivery on Friday.”

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, instructed the department to extend Monday’s operating hours in order to ensure that all clients that visited the offices on Friday are served.

According to Motsoaledi, the department owes it to the public to extend operating hours to compensate for the unfortunate network failure incident.

The department said everyone who is in the office by 6:30pm will be assisted.

“The department appreciates the patience of the public on Friday and apologises for the inconvenience caused by the unfortunate network failure”.

This not the first time that the Department of Home Affairs systems went offline.

Last year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said a lack of backup network links and outdated equipment are the real reasons Home Affairs branches’ systems are often hit by long downtimes.

My BroadBand reported that DA MP Adrian Roos welcomed the support of communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshaveni in the party’s call to solve the issues causing Home Affairs systems from going offline.

According to the DA, it was alarming that only 35 out of 691 Home Affairs branches had a backup link.

Home Affairs was the only major government department without dual communication links to all its offices, the party said.

The DA also lambasted Motsoaledi for failing to act since being appointed in 2019.

The Citizen/Faizel Patel