No sign on the dotted line

Following a string of negative publicity, there seems to be no end to the Department of Home Affairs' woes.

Following a string of negative publicity, there seems to be no end to the Department of Home Affairs' woes.

Barely a day after new director-general Mavuso Msimang conceded that rot still existed in the department, another blight to its service-delivery record has been noted at one of its offices in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

A report in Sowetan this week disclosed that members of the public at Inkandla seeking birth and death certificates were turned away. This because the printers have run out of ink. So the public had to travel a further 100km to obtain these documents from another office.

This week Msimang confessed that corruption, skills shortages and backlogs were still hampering the department from delivering efficient service.

But Msimang has many more problems on his platter. There is also the mammoth task of resolving the problem of more than 600000 ID books bottlenecked at the fingerprint-capturing point. How he will overcome this massive burden, given the logistical challenges outlined by him, is not immediately evident.

For its part, the public has long lost its patience with the department. Attributing departmental woes to corrupt officials is simply not good enough.

Heads should have rolled soon after Msimang walked into office.

So enough, we say, with excuses. Is it too much to ask for efficient service?

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