The Department of Home Affairs has been issued with notice that front office workers intent to go in strike on the 19th of June over an unresolved work hour dispute.
The dispute concerns disagreement over compensation for working on Saturdays, with the Department unable to pay for overtime, offering instead to give Wednesdays off for those who are required to put in a shift on the weekend.
Unfortunately for many South African travellers, the 19th of June is just before school holidays, posing a problem for people requiring last-minute travel documents.
“If this strike is to take place, it would interrupt mandatory services Home Affairs provides to citizens as enjoined by the Constitution of the Republic,” says Director-General Mkuseli Apleni. “Ahead of the holidays, the number of client requests for travel documents shoots up as families prepare for the long break.”
As there is no alternative to Home Affairs for citizens in need of its specific services, the Department says it’s desperate to find a “speedy and amicable solution”.
“If all fails, we reserve our rights particularly to act responsibly, in the interest of citizens,” Apleni adds. “The needs and aspirations of citizens define our very existence as public servants. They deserve better.”
In the meantime, if you’re planning to go overseas during that period - and you already know that you need help from Home Affairs - you’d be well advised to pay them a visit sooner rather than later.
More details on the dispute can be found at www.dha.gov.za.