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Obsolete equipment slowing down the issuing of identity documents

Obsolete equipment that continuously breaks down at registry offices is slowing down the issuing of identity documents, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister, Ruth Maboyi has said.

The Registrar-General’s Department which is battling a passports backlog dating back to last year, is also struggling to issue birth certificates and national identity cards (IDs) with only a limited number of people being served per day.

Many people who visit registry offices across the country are turned away as the staff there cannot cope with demand.

Speaking in Parliament Wednesday, Maboyi said the registry machines sometimes break down resulting in the slowing of the process of issuing documents.

She said while the documentation of citizens was being extended to rural areas, resources remained a major constraint resulting in the exercise moving at a snail’s pace.

“However, you will find that in rural areas, they are giving out those documents at a very slow pace. At times we usually get a breakdown of machines,” said Maboyi.

“We are actually trying to get resources so that we can go out of urban areas to do the registering of those documents. I want to announce that in December, we are probably going to move around the whole country.”

Legislators said the issue of birth certificates and identity cards was long overdue and needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“I think for the past three years, we have been talking about the backlog on identity cards in the southern parts of the country because of the previous historical situations and that people migrate to neighbouring South Africa resulting in many children and even adults not having identity cards,” said Umzingwane legislator, Levi Mayihlome.”

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