State services make rural visit
By Tabisa Mntengwana
12 June 2012
RESIDENTS flocked to the Phumlani Community Hall, where provincial government departments parked mobile offices, all in the name of bringing basic services closer to rural people.
The visit to Phumlani Location took place on Friday, 8 June. It was organised by Buffalo City and other stakeholders, including the provincial departments of Social Development, Home Affairs and Labour.
Among the services the villagers could seek, were applications for identity documents (IDs), birth certificates, child support grants, indigent registration and immigration matters.
Ward councillor Bathini Booi said the initiative was very useful to rural residents "as most of them are unemployed and sometimes do not have the means to go to these departments and make these applications".
It had been a success as residents had responded to the call and were queuing outside the community hall, making their way to the Home Affairs and Labour trucks stationed outside, Booi said at the time.
"We will continue to make these meetings and bring these basic services closer to the people of the metro and its surroundings as this is still an unfolding programme. But since it has started it has proven to be a great success."
Speaking about immigration, the head of immigration services in the Department of Home Affairs, Bongani Silwana, said South African residents should be careful of renting out their houses to immigrants whether they were legal or illegal.
"Most of the time when matters get out of hand locals require the intervention of the Department of Home Affairs."
He added: "It is the responsibility of the residents to inform their ward councillors when such issues occur, so that officials [are] aware and [are] able to contact relevant departments for the reviewing of their permits and giving them rights to stay or work in country."
One of the villagers, Noluvuyo Ngada, was excited that her ID would finally be corrected. "My initial ID had an incorrect date of birth and now the Home Affairs officials have promised to fix the problem," she said.