Somalian Noor Bare sits outside the Department of Home Affairs in Port Elizabeth in this 2016 file photo. Picture: THE HERALD
Somalian Noor Bare sits outside the Department of Home Affairs in Port Elizabeth in this 2016 file photo. Picture: THE HERALD

After the recent relaxation of travel restrictions, we have made appointments to visit our customers in Europe. I wasn’t born in SA and am therefore unable to apply for my replacement SA passport online and complete the application at my bank.

I arrived at home affairs in Randburg on Monday at 2pm, but owing to the long queue no more applicants could be accepted on the premises. According to the gatekeeper, passport applicants can expect to queue for six hours or more.

I called the home affairs contact centre number listed on its website and received the message that “the network is congested”. I tried another Pretoria number on the same website and got the message that “the number you have dialled does not exist”.

The SA government has been quick to blame other countries, specifically the UK, for being on their “red list” for travel. However, after my encounter (actually, no encounter whatsoever) with the department of home affairs, perhaps a little introspection wouldn’t go amiss.

Andrew Armstrong, Via email

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