South Africa: Lockdown - Home Affairs to Screen Everyone Accessing Its Offices

Any person visiting Home Affairs offices will be screened for Covid-19 before accessing the premises.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Njabulo Nzuza said the department will secure temperature thermometers for all branches after workers complained about a lack of physical distancing and sanitisers.

Nzuza was speaking during a visit to the Orlando West branch in Soweto on Tuesday. Earlier, he had also visited the Edenvale branch.

"This is a very important time for us to see the conditions under which our frontline staff operate, and to design systems that will make it easier for them.

"We are aware that there are challenges, which were raised in Edenvale around issues of sanitisers and masks. We are happy that those issues have been resolved.

"Here is Soweto, which is a model of how people should conduct themselves. We have seen how the branch has done well in maintaining the safe distance between the customers we serve and making sure that our staff are safe," said Nzuza.

Essential services

He said Home Affairs is part of the essential services allowed to operate during lockdown.

Currently, all offices are only offering death registrations, temporary identity documents and reissuing of birth certificates.

"Those are important services we are offering our citizens. But ours is to ensure that our citizens are safe and get the best services. We can only see that by visiting branches and making sure the laws that have been passed are implemented.

"Our management has told us that they have procured sanitisers, which are above 60% alcohol content, and are going to be distributed to all branches.

"Workers have also requested that we have temperature thermometers in every branch, so that we are able to detect people who might be risky," he said.

Employees thanked

Nzuza later thanked employees who were working during the lockdown.

"We know very well that this is a difficult time for the country," he said. "The services that you are offering are very important. Some of our families would not have dignity and would not be able to bury their loved ones without you being available.

"I am happy that some of our clients have told me that their hands are being sanitised; clients that we service have to be safe.

"This virus kills. If you look in other countries, it kills hundreds and hundreds of people in a single day. It is important for us to take precautions, observe safe social distance, and use the safety materials."


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