Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has officially launched the department’s contact centre at the department’s head office in Pretoria.
The contact centre replaces the department’s call centre, while offering a multi-platform channel to provide clients with various options to interact with the department. These platforms include email and unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) services to better respond to queries in universally acceptable standards.
Members of the public can reach the contact centre on 0800 60 11 90.
Minister Gigaba said the erstwhile call centre could not deal with or address queries from members of the public, hence they launched the contact centre.
“With the contact centre, an operator is able to track the enquiry and be able to tell the client what is happening or at what stage the enquiry is,” he said.
The centre is manned by operators, who have received in-house training to handle enquiries. On average, each operator receives about 120 calls per day. Operators are able to deal with any enquiries relating to applications for IDs, birth certificates and other services offered by the department.
The contact centre got off the ground on 1 April this year. Its weekday operating hours are 7:30am to 17:00pm. On Saturdays, it operates from 8:00am to 12:00pm.
So far, the department has recruited 112 operators to man the centre. The number is set to reach 120.
“As the department, we will continue to look at what can be improved to provide effective services to the public. We are quite happy with how the centre is operating and as a department, we will continue to improve the centre,” Minister Gigaba said.
The launch of the contact centre is part of improving service delivery by the department. Earlier this year, the department launched eHomeAffairs, which allows members of the public to apply for their documents from the comfort of their homes to reduce long queues in front offices.
The department signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s major banks — ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank — to roll out eHomeAffairs at banks. To date, the department has rolled out the online system to 11 bank branches.