The staggering 44% enhance within the variety of death-certificate registrations at home affairs in December 2020 in comparison with December 2019 has highlighted the deadly nature of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This massive spike in loss of life registrations, together with the loss of life of seven house affairs front-office employees within the first 10 days of this yr alone, has compelled the division to slash the variety of providers it provides at its branches countrywide.
Talking throughout a media briefing on Tuesday, Dwelling Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi gave a stark define of the surge in deaths, saying that his division registered 55 676 deaths in December 2020, in comparison with 38 620 a yr earlier.
In December 2018, 36 825 deaths had been registered by house affairs, Motsoaledi stated, including that the steep climb was attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Motsoaledi, who was expanding on the stringent regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, which included the closing of the nation’s 20 land borders, stated house affairs would now not present sensible ID purposes and collections, nor delivery and marriage certificates, at any of its workplaces “till additional discover”.
Motsoaledi stated this was primarily based on a statistical evaluation of who visited house affairs workplaces: 29% of individuals got here for sensible ID collections; 16% for sensible ID purposes; 11% for delivery, marriage and loss of life certificates; and 10% for momentary ID purposes.
Solely matric learners could be allowed to use for sensible IDs.
“We’re additionally suspending marriage providers and solemnisation of marriages and registration of marriages. We’re conscious that this might be troublesome [for] individuals, however please bear with us as a result of now we have to avoid wasting lives,” Motsoaledi stated.
“We’re proposing that each one delivery and loss of life [certificates] be registered on the well being amenities the place they came about. Not all hospitals have house affairs workplaces, sadly, however there are fairly numerous hospitals the place there are house affairs workplaces …”
Motsoaledi stated the total record of hospitals with house affairs workplaces might be discovered on the department’s website. On the time of writing, the web site had but to be up to date with this data.
He reiterated that these measures had been to guard employees and the general public, as a result of he had noticed that individuals going to house affairs branches weren’t observing Covid-19 protocols of bodily distancing. This brought about elevated infections amongst staff, seven of whom have died within the first 10 days of this yr.
Nevertheless, working hours could be prolonged from 8am to 7pm till 15 February to assist with the registration of deaths, Motsoaledi stated.
In the meantime, Cooperative Governance and Conventional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma harassed that the nation’s 20 land borders could be closed till 15 February.
“There [have] been a whole lot of issues on the land borders as individuals come again from holidays, from wherever they’ve been. And [this] necessitated that we shut the 20 borders that had been open, and allow restricted providers at these borders,” Dlamini-Zuma stated.
Motsoaledi stated these restricted providers would come with opening up for diplomats, deportation functions and for individuals who needed to go house or return to South Africa.
Different classes of individuals and providers which might be exempt embody international college students returning for research, cargo and different industrial items, and the transportation of medical provides.
“If individuals don’t fall into any of the classes that I’ve talked about, however imagine their case is price contemplating, they’ll then apply to the minister of house affairs for exemption,” he stated.
Purposes for exemptions might be made by emailing [email protected], Motsoaledi added.