Applications for passports (with the exception of those permitted to travel), marriage certificates and Smart ID cards has been suspended at all Home Affairs Departments throughout the country.

During a media briefing on Tuesday [January 12], Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the move will help curb the spread of coronavirus.

“We will not entertain an application for a smart ID unless you are a matriculant. Applications for passports, except for people falling into the categories who are permitted to travel, are suspended,” he said.

All marriage services, which include solemnisation and registration of marriages will also not be permitted. He made it clear that unless you get an SMS to collect your ID, you should not go to a home affairs office.

Furthermore, he proposed that all birth and death certificates be registered at the health facilities where they took place.

Long queues at home affairs offices across South Africa is a serious health concern, and the suspension of these services will help keep people from queuing.

There is uncertainty about when these services will resume. President Cyril Ramaphosa did not give a date for when Level 3 lockdown will end, he only said restrictions will be eased when it is safe to do so.

“It is necessary that we keep the Alert Level 3 measures in place until we have passed the peak of new infections and we are certain that the rate of transmission has fallen enough to allow us to safely ease the current restrictions,” the President said.

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.