The Department of Home Affairs is pulling out all the stops to ensure that those who need identity documents (IDs) to cast their vote on May 18 have every opportunity to obtain them.
Addressing a media briefing on Friday, the department’s Director-General Mkuseli Apleni said on the day of the municipal elections all Home Affairs offices will open at 07:00 and close at 19:00.
Apart from the normal services it offers, the offices will also issue temporary identity certificates to those who do not have permanent IDs.
Mobile units will be deployed to areas where the department does not have a physical presence.
“These mobile units have the capacity to issue temporary identity certificates that allows those without permanent IDs to vote, provided they are registered voters,” Apleni added.
In recent weeks the department has also increased its capacity to produce IDs.
“The department has also, through Government Printing Works which reports to Home Affairs, increased its capacity to print IDs and accordingly has produced 155 000 IDs between April 21 and May 10, 2011. These IDs are being sent to offices of application overnight,” he said.
Top management from the department will operate from the Home Affair’s Pretoria headquarters on May 18, from where they are expected to direct departmental processes and intervene where necessary.
Apleni said uncollected IDs remained a serious concern for the department.
The number of uncollected IDs, which stood at 500 000 by April 12, had dropped by about 100 000 by the end of that month.
“While this is a welcome development we however still remain concerned about the remaining figure for uncollected IDs which now stands at 406 692.
“We reiterate the appeal for those who have applied for their IDs and have been notified of their readiness for collection, to do so as soon as possible,” he said.