The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Mr Hlomani Chauke, has voiced his disappointment at reports of downtime at the Department of Home Affairs offices countrywide which resulted in no and or minimal services being rendered at their offices across the country.
“It is completely unacceptable that people could spend the whole day at home affairs offices without receiving services. The Committee has over time raised concerns over the reliability of service that the State Information Technology Agency offers to the department and has been receiving assurances that interventions are being implemented to remedy the trend of constant disruptions and downtime,” Mr Chauke said.
Even more concerning to the committee is the fact that the department failed to properly communicate with those affected. The Committee is of the view that the least the department could have done was to disseminate information earlier to enable people to make informed decisions.
“The majority of our people take a day off work to access the services of the department and this means that today was a wasted day and they would have to take another day off. Also, poor people will be forced to spend more money from already overextended budgets to get to home affairs offices,” Mr Chauke said.
The committee calls on the Department of Home Affairs and the State Information Technology Agency to urgently resolve the issue of downtime. Furthermore, the Committee demands that an emergency communications plan be put into place to communicate with people intending to access the offices on Monday to prevent needless travel to the offices. The Committee will on Tuesday next week in a meeting with both SITA and the department demand answers on the causes of the downtime and solutions aimed at preventing such occurrences from happening again.
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