Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi states that unions have actually taken his department’s strategies to cut long lines in your home affairs workplaces throughout the nation to the settlement table– successfully putting them on ice.

Reacting to a parliamentary Q&A today, the minister regreted a drop in service levels at house affairs workplaces after prolonged operating hours over weekends were dropped.

When asked why Saturday running hours had actually stopped, Motsoaledi blamed unions. “The department frantically desires Home Affairs workplaces to open on Saturdays. The kind of services rendered by Home Affairs workplaces fall in the exact same classification as services rendered by Police Services and Clinics,” he stated.

” Unfortunately, the unions took the matter to the general public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) and made it a topic of settlements. It ended in a stalemate.”

The minister stated that the intent was for Saturday working hours to be performed through the shift system in the very same method authorities and nurses work.

“However, the unions demand releasing the very same individuals who work throughout the week hours, however paying them overtime. Must we concur, the department will be pushed into paying overtime for life, or irreversible overtime– and this is illogical,” stated the minister.

He stated the department has actually sent to Cabinet a Home Affairs Bill which will alter the nature of the Department of Home Affairs into a security department entitled to open on weekends.

Motsoaledi stated that the department has actually been adversely affected without having the ability to run on a Saturday. “Ironically, I think this (even worse service) impacts members of unions the most,” he stated.

Scheduling system

While the department’s strategies to run over weekends are now on ice up until union settlements have actually played out, the minister stated other interventions are working. Recently (13 May), Motsoaledi stated that the Branch Appointment Booking System being piloted at choose branches is yielding favorable outcomes, permitting South Africans to bypass long lines.

“Clients are serviced within the timeslot reserved and verified, and the workplaces have the ability to prepare for those who have actually reserved the day prior to the set up consultations,” he stated.

The system is presently being trialled in choose high-volume workplaces and has actually been incorporated with the nationwide population register to enable customers to utilize their ID numbers to reserve a slot. This avoids representatives unlawfully running in house affairs workplaces from obstructing slots to offer them on.

This consists of alternatives to reserve a consultation at a particular house affairs workplace in each province and an anticipated start and end time.

Motsoaledi formerly stated the Branch Appointment Booking System would be piloted at some live capture workplaces for Smart ID Card and Passports applications and the collections of both files throughout the 2021/22 fiscal year.

He included that the system would be presented to other recognized high-volume workplaces, nevertheless, he did not supply a timeframe.