Ending HA queues?
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says his department is doing all it can to end the long wait in queues at their various branches across the country.
Gigaba was speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria about progress made in the department's "War of Queues" campaign, which he launched in April to reduce the length of time spent waiting in queues at Home Affairs offices.
"It has been a slow start, but with signs of progress in some areas."
Gigaba said the department would "modernise" at least nine additional offices, bringing the total number of offices with "live capture" to 193.
The department had also appointed IT company Dimension Data to assist in assessing the networks of the 184 live captures.
Live capturing is the electronic system used to capture information for both IDs and passports, and ensures that details are immediately verified from the local office, instead of going via head office, reducing waiting time by three to five days.
In April, Gigaba said that the department was also hoping to roll out its "e-homeaffairs" service at ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank over the next year.
On Monday, he said Investec and Discovery Bank had also came on board.
The banking partners had added five more sites and would have 25 more sites, covering Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga.
Gigaba said a monitoring tool had been developed to measure the average waiting time, from when a client received a ticket to when they received help.
"On average, it takes 25 to 30 minutes to issue a product to the client. This analysis necessitated a review of workflow process.
"This work includes a pilot to redesign the workflow, so that we can separate those collecting passports from the ones collecting smart ID cards."
The pilot had been successfully conducted at the Pretoria and Cape Town offices, Gigaba said.
Full assessments had been conducted at the five offices that needed immediate action, namely: Alexandra and Soweto in Gauteng; East London in the Eastern Cape; and Pietermaritzburg and uMngeni in KwaZulu-Natal.
Implementation of the findings had started at the Alexandra and Soweto offices, he said.
Gigaba said power cuts were the biggest contributors to system downtime at many of their offices. Other problems related to the Telkom data line, as well as power management.
"We are hoping to get Saturday's work back so that we can remain open."