Disgruntled group attempts sit-in at Home Affairs
The Department of Home Affairs in Randburg‚ Johannesburg‚ has turned Kgomotso Marokoane away 10 times.
Tuesday was the 10th time and the last straw.
“The day before I had gone there and had been turned back‚” Marokoane said.
She was part of a group of about 15 that protested when security closed its doors at 2pm on Tuesday. The offices close at 3:30pm‚ but an official told them there were too many people inside and they would not be helped.
“I am telling this lady (Home Affairs official) that this is the second day that I have asked my work to come here. I can’t keep asking and you can’t expect to wake up at 5am just to stand in line.”
An official then told them they could wait until 3:30pm to see if they would be served. The group pushed their way in as an applicant left after security locked the doors at 3:30pm to stage a sit-in.
Inside an official said they were “welcome to just stand here”‚ but they were knocking off.
“He tells us that the government does not pay them overtime and they will not stay overtime‚ because the last time they did that for people‚ the last [people] leaving the queue were very rude and ungrateful.”
Most of the officials went home‚ but the group remained. Marokoane said the officials took down a list of their names and said they would help them on Wednesday.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday the department was preparing a strategy to manage queues at their offices.
Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the department had been “inundated” with calls about time spent applying for IDs and passports.
Gigaba appealed to South Africans to “exercise patience”.