Home Affairs soon ‘Quick Affairs’

Bonakele Mayekiso, Provincial Manager of the Free State Department of Home Affairs, stated that system upgrades would take place in 10 more areas throughout the province this weekend. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Extremely long queues at the Department of Home Affairs in Rocklands could be a thing of the past with recent upgrades, and locals are looking forward to it.

Free State Home Affairs’ provincial manager, Bonakele Mayekiso, said that the upgrades would cut the time needed to process information and documents substantially. “In the past you would have to apply for a birth certificate and it would take time to process paperwork needed from a database using old paper systems,” said Mayekiso.

Oftentimes, depending on when a certificate was first registered, it would take a long time to retrieve for members of the public, sometimes as long as six months,” Mayekiso explained.

The new system will be rolled out in the rest of the province this weekend. “We are going to make it easier for people to draw information as well as give information. In the new system a department staff member can just press a few buttons to get whatever information and documents you need. Whereas before you had to fill in about three forms, redo finger prints and the paperwork would have to be processed elsewhere,” he added.

He stated that this would greatly reduce queueing. Bloemfontein Courant visited the local Home Affairs’ offices in Mangaung and spoke to members of the public about the upgrades. Resident Mehlale Seale said that the upgrades would be a great improvement. “I think it is a good idea because everyone will be helped much faster and still be able to get on with their day instead of spending hours at Home Affairs,” she said. Another resident, Karen Roussow, praised the department for its efficiency.

“Their online service will work but if you fetch documets you will have to come and queueue. The department’s services are excellent here, especially with the number of people they handle. They are really doing a good job,” expressed Rossouw. Gerda Conrad, who was in a queue to get a new Smart ID card, also expressed her appreciation. “It will be much better because we tend to stand in long lines. So I am looking forward to the upgrades even though I heard that systems were down today. Upgrades will help a lot,” she added. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele