The DA has discovered that Home Affairs applications are being deleted due to loadshedding. The possibility that this is also the case in other state departments is extremely concerning and the DA will be doing oversight in the coming weeks to ascertain whether it is indeed the case.
I have written to Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to urgently address this issue.
When visiting the Bronkhorstspruit Home Affairs office with ward 105 DA Councillor candidate Lida Erasmus, it was found that there are cases where citizens apply for an ID document or passport, complete the application and receive a valid receipt. A few weeks later when they return to the office to find out why the documents are not ready they find that the application was completely deleted due to load shedding that causes the system to go offline.
These residents are then required to reapply. This is a completely unacceptable waste of time for these residents. There can be no compromise on database replication and power failover systems in place for secure systems that contain such sensitive information.
The Minister has to date failed to answer a DA parliamentary question posed in October 2022 requesting a list of the home affairs offices with no functioning generator or uninterrupted power supply system and by when emergency power supply systems will be installed in each of these offices.
A detailed report presented to Home Affairs as far back as 2019 already highlighted electricity and environmental issues as major causes of system downtime including uninterrupted power supply devices not kicking in, no power backup or not having fuel in generators when power fails.
The lethargy in having these issues addressed is difficult to understand, given the severity of their impact. Ministers enjoy generators at their residences at taxpayer expense and are completely disconnected from the effects of load shedding.
The DA will be following up to ensure that this issue of applications being deleted due to loadshedding is addressed without delay.