Queue Mafia controls access to Tongaat Home Affairs

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Frustrated residents of the north coast are fed up with the appalling service from the home affairs offices in Tongaat and KwaDukuza.

Tormented daily by long queues and unfinished business, their exasperation is further fueled by the Home Affairs Directorate’s apparent inability to solve problems and introduce streamlined operations.

Bombarded by public complaints about it, the Courier joined the Tongaat home affairs queue last Friday to gain first-hand knowledge of the situation.

When they arrived at 5:30 a.m., at least 30 desperate people wanting birth certificates, passports and IDs had already lined up, despondency etched on their faces with the realization of a 3-hour marathon wait. hours they would be forced to endure before the doors even opened.

Just 5 minutes later another 50 people were counted to join the line.

Worse still for the long-suffering public, “entrepreneurs” are exploiting Home Affairs’ apparent lack of proactive solutions.

While a group of men renting chairs at R5 causes no inconvenience or disruption, the practice of paying agents to skip the queue causes enormous annoyance.

People in the queue have complained that some people just show up at any time and are driven to the front of the queue because they paid someone for the privilege. The going rate would be R200.

This pushes those waiting in the queue even further, often resulting in them not being served the same day and having to come back for another day of frustration and wasted hours.

One Inanda resident called it the ‘queue mafia’ and was unconvinced after learning Tongaat Home Affairs was the best option.

The Courier saw a man, who no one could confirm was an internal affairs official, directing people to different queues and escorting people from the gate, ordering security guards to let them through.

People claimed he was one of the men ‘selling seats’, but no one dared to confront him as it would cause ‘big trouble’.

Discontent surfaced on Friday after a woman who walked straight to the front of the queue backed off when people made a fuss.

Frustrated Ballito resident Sue Beningfield shared her experience with us after trying to renew her son’s passport in February.

She said a car attendant told her he started shift at midnight and people started arriving at 2 a.m. to reserve their place in the queue.

“We were there at 4.30am in the pouring rain and were 15th in the queue. The offices opened at 8:20 a.m. and we walked through the outside gate at 9:20 a.m. At noon, we entered the building and for the first time sat down. We were supposedly the luckiest as there were still people queuing in the pouring rain. We got a number at 1pm – number 182!

At 2:30 p.m. that day, Beningfield’s son had yet to take his pictures with 50 people in front of them.

“The system has been off and on all day. There are no toilets for people. People (about 10) arrived at 2.30pm to have their picture taken as they had not been picked up the day before. They were expecting to push past us who have been there since 4am. How is it going ? People pay for space, people date, and people know someone!

The Courier had not received a response from Home Affairs at the time of going to press.


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