ID and passport applications suspended in South Africa
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced the suspended applications for ID cards, passports, and marriage services to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We will not entertain an application for a smart ID unless you are a matriculant,” Motsoaledi said.
“Applications for passports, except for people falling into the categories who are permitted to travel, are suspended.”
He added that marriage services, including the solemnisation and registration of marriages, with immediate effect.
The minister also appealed to people not to visit home affairs to collect new ID cards, unless they have been invited via SMS to do so.
Another intervention to protect home affairs officials is to change the way deaths and births are registered.
“We are proposing that all births and deaths are registered at the health facilities where they took place,” Motsoaledi said.
He said they aware these interventions will be difficult for people, but asked the public to bear with them to save lives.
The suspension of applications for ID cards, passports, and marriage services follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the level 3 lockdown will be extended.
As part of the extended lockdown, the 20 land ports of entry that were previously open would be closed until 15 February for entry and departure.
Ramaphosa said level 3 lockdown measures will remain in place until the rate of transmission has fallen sufficiently to warrant relaxing restrictions.