Accustomed to the drag of queues and administrative red-tape invariably part and parcel of applying for travel documents of registration of children over the years, it was with much trepidation that our family traipsed up to the Home Affairs office at Simunye Centre in KwaNokuthula some weeks back.
Bracing ourselves for the crowds and ‘take a number’ attitude we’ve come to expect, it was marvellously refreshing to rock up at an office where staff contingent outnumbered members of the public!
Sure, there’s no getting past the amount of forms to be filled out or times that personal information is repeated according to national requirements, especially now that the department has implemented new rules regarding unabridged birth certificates and the like.
But local Home Affairs office manager Nokonwaba Mtonjeni was helpful and friendly and incredibly efficient in advising and navigating us through the reams of paperwork.
Now we’re just waiting for that call to say that the necessary documentation has arrived from George and we can collect same right here in Plett. Then we can really start looking forward to our trip!
If you read here and would like to know more about the above-mentioned legislation, visit www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs for enlightenment. Under the heading ‘Immigration Directive No. 11 of 2014 - Children travelling without unabridged birth certificate’ it states: “The Department of Home Affairs has provided a grace period to allow children to travel without unabridged birth certificates until 1 June 2015. The above is an interim measure to allow prospective travellers sufficient time to obtain the necessary unabridged certificate.” And if you don’t come right on the site, call Ms Mtonjeni on 044 533 0914. - Eds.