The Democratic Alliance (DA) is aware that the DHA has directed that
passport renewal applications for citizens living abroad are to
resume as of 27 July 2020 since the closure of that service in late
However, given the already massive backlog of applications, and that
renewals abroad already take 6 to 12 months as well as new
uncertainties around processing times due to the lockdown in South
Africa, this is of little immediate assistance to those citizens.
It is for this reason that my colleague in Parliament, DA Shadow
Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Adrian Roos MP, has written to the
Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to request that the
passports of those working and living abroad, in need of urgent
renewal, are stamped to remain valid for a period to cover the long
waiting times of 6 to 12 months.
The issue of the inefficiency and lack of timeliness in processing
passports for those living, working and travelling abroad is not new,
it is a decade old problem that both the DHA and their colleagues at
the Department of International Relations and Cooperation have shown
minimal interest in rectifying.
Government simply cannot blame the Covid-19 pandemic for these
delays, as it has only worsened an already dire situation of poor
service delivery. It is completely unacceptable that citizens abroad
are left in a practical position of statelessness for an undisclosed
number of months.
The DA will continue to sound the alarm on the inefficiencies of Home
Affairs in protecting the interests of South African citizens abroad.
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