In the bid to make travel easier for South Africans, Home Affairs Department says it would be introducing a passport for children.
The department announced this on Wednesday saying its a way of bringing relief to parents who find it difficult to get all necessary documents to leave the country with their children.
According to Home Affairs Director General, Mkuseli Apleni, the new passport for children is designed in such a way that the details of the parents will be included.
Also included in the passport, the parents whose details are given, cannot change unless they die. Through this, there won’t be a need to carry the birth certificate.”
The new passport will become available next year and the department hopes this document will also help stop child trafficking. Over 30, 000 minors are trafficked through South African borders annually.
Meanwhile, officials say government’s budget cuts have affected operations in the department.
Apleni said the department is affected over the issue of capping the number of positions, “we are lower base it causes problems and at the OR Tambo you cleared based on the number of counters and it’s frustrate passengers to arrive at OR Tambo, there are 45 counters and 20 counters are manned, cause we don’t have people.”
But despite the personnel shortages, officials assures travellers of an adequate service at immigration checkpoints.
The home affairs department announced the unavailability of biometrics on Wednesday, 7 December, saying the shutdown of the system was “due to technical challenges”.
As the festive period draws near, the department says it has issued an apology for the current unavailability of Live Capture Systems – or Biometric Data Capturing – at all home affairs offices around the country.
Services that are affected include Smart ID Card and Passport applications as well as collections. Birth, Marriages and Death services are not affected.
The Department apologised for the inconvenience caused and said the matter is being attended to.