The Home Affairs department on Harrison Street is a prime example of the symptoms of lethargy, inefficiency, indifference and a general lack of motivation, that plagues the entire ministry. This ministry needs urgent transformation, or perhaps reform is a better word.
I had the dubious pleasure of visiting Harrison Street yesterday to collect my updated study permit. I arrived at eight thirty in the morning and left after five o'clock in the evening. Last year when I went through the same process, it took me about two hours to get my renewed permit. Yesterday, it took approximately an hour to attend to each individual applicant. How is it possible that the services keep declining fom bad to worse?
At first there were three people attending to a group of over thirty people, not too long after there was only one person. The second person was slower than a snail (so her presence was not productive), and the third person took someone's details dumped it somewhere and left the building without handing the documents over to another officer.
Reflecting on what I learnt during the WOW sessions, good leadership is a key attribute towards building any organisation or institution. Team building is achieved through committed and exemplary leadership. An organisation's culture also comes out of good leadership.
I have heard several times on the news that the Home Affairs department is improving its services. When are we (the clients) going to see evidence of this improvement? I am of course appreciative of the fact that it is a fairly large parastatal giving services in many locations around the globe. It is said that 'charity begins at home', therefore there is need for the home office to spearhead this reform. A friend in Denmark also complained about the lack of efficiency at the South African High Commission in that country.
My impression of the Harrison Street department was that the indifference was entrenched. There was a lack of motivation displayed by a majority of the staff there. The minister needs to come up with a more effective service strategy for Home Affairs as a matter of urgency.
I know that I am not alone in this and it has nothing to do with being a foreigner. South African citizens also go through the same frustrations to get identity documents and passports. My question is; ''has the minister and her team accepted that there is a problem and how do they plan to turn this department around?''