I don’t know about you, but when it comes to any service provided by the government, I want to run for the hills. Service is with a sour face, slow and at best barely registers on a scale of acceptable – and let’s not even go down the road about how the grime just stares at you from chairs, desks and biometric equipment!
Dealing with government workers and services is every South African’s nightmare in my opinion.
Well, last week I realised that my passport will no longer be accepted for travel, I only had a month left before its expiry. Sigh! I still remember the queues at home affairs from last time, the frantic search for the right forms and how I felt like dousing myself with Dettol to get rid of whatever I may have picked up from the equipment…
Then I remembered, I can now do the application online and go to FNB for biometrics! No more home affairs! OMG, it was a breeze. I completed the form online for both my ID and passport, made the appointment at FNB Sandton (on WEST ST, Merchant Place), paid online and received an SMS with my appointment information.
On the day I arrived at FNB, sat for 5 minutes before being called and VOILA!, I was done before I broke a sweat. That was on a Friday. The following Tuesday just before 3pm I got an SMS to say my ID is ready for pickup! The Friday morning before 9am another SMS – my passport is ready! Quick service like this is totally unheard of from a government run anything – right?
Where to find this magical portal to home affairs bliss:
Remember, this is a government website and as such they optimise for usage on Internet Explorer. They also say that you have to print out your completed application – not true, I tried everything to print out the document and finally just gave up and arrived at FNB without. Turns out, they didn’t need it.
On this site you can:
- Submit applications online
- Upload supporting documents
- Make online payments
- And schedule a booking to visit a Home Affairs enabled Bank offices
You can also complete the form online and then go to a home affairs to do the biometrics – because the enabled banks (with home affairs officials) aren’t everywhere yet.