Pretoria — Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor will on Thursday open a new Home Affairs office in Mossel Bay, Western Cape, to improve services by bringing facilities closer to the people.
The new office will help reduce travelling time for citizens requiring Home Affairs services, including senior citizens and people with disabilities.
As with service points across the country, the Mossel Bay office will empower individuals by providing them with IDs and other enabling documents.
Importantly, the office is opening ahead of the 7 May general election and will therefore assist voters in need of documents for this purpose. The priority is also to ensure voters have the necessary documents prior to the elections.
Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says providing new offices and refurbishing existing ones is meant to help the department to meet the needs of citizens and staff members.
It is also part of government’s drive to improve quality of services, particularly for people in remote and rural parts of the country.
“This will in the long run ensure Home Affairs offices are within easy reach of communities, are less congested and run by officials who are motivated and more responsive to the needs of the people,” said Mamoepa.
In the 2012/13 financial year, 19 offices were refurbished as part of the programme to improve the frontline environment for the public and officials.
In total, 136 offices, 58 in rural and 78 in urban areas, were refurbished since the launch of the department’s Look and Feel project. There are 404 Home Affairs offices around the country.
Mamoepa said where there are no offices as yet, people in remote areas are serviced through 115 mobile offices.
• The Gremlin