Frustration mounts for residents who say it is still an arduous task to get assistance from the home affairs office in Komani.
Residents were fuming recently outside the Komani branch when the office had to close again following a positive Covid-19 test.
The frustrated residents said the closure was yet another example of bad customer service which was not only inconveniencing them, but putting their lives in danger.
“This office has a problem. If it is not the system it is now Covid-19. We have been coming to this office repeatedly. We risk our lives to make sure we arrive early. I was here at 2am. What if I was raped? I must go through all of this just to get an ID? The people in charge must pay attention to what is happening here. The service is always bad and we have to wait forever to be assisted,” said Zandile Ntantiso
Anger over the closure was further exacerbated when residents were told to leave, yet some were still being assisted.
“We were given our tickets and informed that only 100 people would be served. After standing here for more than an hour the security guard told us they would no longer be serving us and that only certain people would be attended to, depending on what they had come for. How can they say they will serve some people if there is indeed an active case?” asked Khanyisa Ndamase.
Malusi Qhobongoshe who came from Ezibeleni said they were angered because the staff was rude. “It is an expense to come here. I was here at 5am. We are now being told they will only assist people who came for death certificates. What about the rest of us? Are bereaved people immune to the coronavirus? They are rude and now they are refusing to even answer our questions,” he said.
Home affairs acting district manager, Mxolisi Ntaba, said the office had to be closed after they were told a staff member who had been working last week tested positive.
“At about 9am we received news of the positive test. We requested our clients to close the office at 10am so that we could continue assisting those who were already inside.
“Fortunately our staff is on rotational shifts which means only the office needed to be decontaminated,’ said Ntaba.