In support of the general elections, the Department of Home Affairs will extend operational hours at front offices in a drive to assist eligible voters to collect identity documents (IDs) they had applied for, or to apply for IDs or Temporary Identity Certificates. Over three days of voting, 6-8 May 2019, front offices will provide to citizens extended operational hours for identification services by aligning their opening and closing hours to those of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Accordingly, on 6 and 7 May, offices will extend their operational hours from 16h00 to 19h00 to cater for people seeking access to services on these two special voting days. This will provide further opportunities for citizens to collect their uncollected documents (from 08h00 to 19h00). Home Affairs front offices will provide public services also on Election Day, 8 May 2019, from 07h00 in the morning until 21h00 in the evening when IEC voting stations close. It is the mandate of the Department of Home Affairs to ensure all South Africans, 16 years and above, acquire the necessary identity documents to enable them to access opportunities and various government services.
When you are in possession of an enabling document like a smart ID card, green ID book or Temporary Identity Certificate you are afforded an opportunity to cast your vote. Without any of these forms of identification, supplied exclusively by Home Affairs, you cannot vote in South Africa’s democratic elections.
It is worrying that by end of March 2019, the Department had recorded a total of 355 257 uncollected smart ID cards and 3 620 uncollected green ID books. The total of all uncollected identity documents stood at 358 877 comprising uncollected smart ID cards and green ID books. Gauteng has the highest number of uncollected smart ID cards, at 101 787, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (with 55 634 uncollected smart cards) and Eastern Cape (46 504). Northern Cape has the lowest, with only 12 255.
The Department therefore appeals to citizens to collect their smart ID cards or green ID books, or to apply for Temporary Identity Certificates so that they may exercise their democratic right to vote. It requests stakeholder forums, as well as community structures and leaders, to work closely with communities in urging people to collect their documents. Ahead of the elections, the Department extends warm words of gratitude to all officials who will be on duty in support of the elections.