13 August 2020 - NW1575
Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
What (a) are the reasons that his department’s documents applied for at South African missions overseas are not couriered back to the missions at a fee to the applicant once processed, in the same manner that printed documents such as passports and identity documents are couriered to local offices of his department by a courier company contracted to his department and (b) efforts have been made by his department to deal with the extraordinary delays experienced by South African citizens who applied at a South African mission abroad in receiving their documents because of problems with regard to diplomatic bags?
a) The Department works closely with Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) in terms of the protocols provided by Government. The communication to applicants living abroad is arranged through DIRCO for proper coordination and to address the risk associated to enabling documents.
b) The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and DIRCO prepared a communique to Missions abroad to forward all long outstanding applications to DIRCO and DHA has created an e-mail address to deal with long outstanding applications. Both departments agreed on the automation of the application process which will be done in the medium to long term with the aim of ultimately reducing turnaround times.