Strikes - Call Centres To Help With Issuing Of Documents

Pretoria - Special call centres have been set up by the Home Affairs Department to assist with the issuing of death certificates, travel documents and work permits during the public sector strike.

During a media briefing on Friday, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said the call centres were part of the contingency measure put in place to ensure services were not disrupted.

"The contingency measures introduced by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will assist official funeral undertakers/parlours to acquire the much-needed death certificates upon written request and the provision of their designation numbers," he added.

Those who need help with emergency work permits or the extension of their visitors' permit can call (012) 810 6292 for assistance or email while those require assistance with emergency travel documents can call 0800 601 190.

The call centre numbers for funeral parlours to call for help with death certificates are (011) 461 9292, 0800 601 190 and 0800 204 476.

Apleni said that cellphone lines had also been set up for those who had queries with regards to death certificates. These lines will be monitored 24 hours a day and if the request was urgent a sms could be sent to Home Affairs. The cellphone numbers are 072 616 8819 or 079 511 8810 or 082 806 4945 or 082 808 2782.

Other measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the strike include the posting of key contact numbers for all Home Affairs offices in case of emergencies, the redirection of clients to offices that have remained open and the redeployment of staff to offices that are open.

Apleni said the impact of the strike on Home Affairs' services had been minimal, with figures showing that only 19 percent of officials had downed tools.

"While the number of employees on strike in the department represents a minority of our total staff complement, a disturbing trend is emerging with a number of employees being intimidated to vacate our offices and to stay away from work. Also of concern is the extension of this intimidation to our clients," Apleni added.

Home Affairs offices in Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State have been most affected by the strike.

"A total of 766 staff members in Gauteng, 231 in the Western Cpae, 120 in the Free State, and 111 in KwaZulu-Natal are currently on strike," he said.

Forty-six Home Affairs offices in the Eastern Cape, 21 in Mpumalanga, three in the Western Cape, three in Limpopo and one in the Free State were forced to close because of incidents of intimidation.

However, Apleni said the closures were only temporary and once police were called in and the protestors removed, the offices re-opened.

Immigration services were largely unaffected by the strike action, as the SAPS had assisted in providing immigration services to locals and visitors who were travelling in and out of the country, he added. - BuaNews