No applications for passports under adjusted regulations

Posted by Storm Simpson on 13 January 2021

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefed the country on the updated COVID-19 regulations after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would remain on Level 3 lockdown until the peak of infections has passed.

The Department of Home Affairs opted to suspend the following services temporarily:

– Application for Smart IDs is not allowed except for matriculants.

– Application for passports is not allowed except for people who fall in the categories permitted to travel in the amended Disaster Management Act Regulations.

– The registration of marriages has been suspended.

‘In choosing which services to suspend temporarily, we were guided by our statistics,’ said Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsaledi.

‘Of all the people who visit Home Affairs daily, 29% come to collect Smart ID Cards;16% come to apply for Smart ID Cards;11% come for the issuing of birth, marriage or death certificates and 10% come to apply for Temporary Identity Certificates.’

Home Affairs will also extend its operating hours until 7pm until February 15 in order to process the registration of births and deaths, this service will be prioritised in order to allow funerals to take place within the prescribed 72-hour period.

‘In order to defeat this pandemic and go back to normality, we still appeal to everyone visiting Home Affairs offices to observe COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks properly, observing social distancing and sanitising hands regularly,’ said Motsaledi.

The other lockdown restrictions remain mostly the same as they have been for the last few weeks, with the most notable changes being that the curfew ends an hour earlier and that the 20 land borders that were open across the country are now closed but remain open for ‘limited services’.

Motsaledi indicated that individuals may apply for an exemption by emailing the Department of Home Affairs at [email protected]

Those applying for an exemption must provide proof of their exceptional circumstances, and be in possession of the necessary documentation, including:

– a copy of passport;

– a copy of a temporary residence visa;

– demonstration of exceptional circumstances for the request to enter the Republic;

– number of days of intended stay; and

– proof of accommodation or place of residence

The application must be made seven working days before the intended date of travel.

Pictures: Getaway gallery

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