Angry community members formed a crowd outside the locked entrance to the Department of Home Affairs on Umgeni Road at 1 pm. Despite a thunder shower people were left to queue outside without seating and some had been waiting since 5 am. The department has not been delivering service for several days due to systems being offline and community members have been angered by the lack of communication and information by the department.

Cindy Gumede

Cindy Gumede
What we need is for the management to come out to us and explain what the problem is. We have been here since 5am and no one has told us what the problem is. Security told us the system is down but no one from inside has explained. What we need is to know when the system will be online and when we can be helped. I am here to get an ID for my son because he is doing matric and needs an ID.

Khosi Mathe

Khosi Mathe (38)
I’m here to renew a passport for my daughter and I have been here since 6 am. I was here last week as well and today we have the same issue from last week Thursday. Systems are down but we have been given no indication of when the system will be restored. They locked us out in the storm. It stormed for at least 20 minutes and mothers are here with new born babies to do birth registration. It’s not unusual for systems to be down but the public need to be informed. There are a lot of platforms to use but no information has been shared. a lot of us would not have woken up so early to come here if we had been notified over the radio or online.

Judith Wijne

Judith Wijne (43)
I am absolutely appalled. They have on their application board a sign which says, ‘we care,’ but when we went around to the Births and Deaths department, the man there said he doesn’t care and as far as he is concern they are closed and there’s nothing he can do. It’s completely disorganised. I have had to take time off work to do this.

Alan Wijne

Alan Wijne (50)
I am disabled, I have late stage 3 cancer and when I emailed them they said I needed to speak to security who would guide me about where to go, but when I got here, there was no one to offer guidance and the gate was locked. I am here to get my passport.

Rotisca Van Den Berg

Rotisca Van Den Berg (38)
I came here on 30 November and have come four times since then. Eventually on the fourth time I sat from 4 am only to be seen a 12pm because they were offline and I thought I would be here all day. They were offline for five days in total and it took me that long to get my passport done. Now I am back to collect my passport and they are offline again. I didn’t receive an sms to say my passport was ready and I’m wondering what is happening. I have lost business and had to get someone in to be there on the days I couldn’t.