Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced the extension of working hours for all Home Affairs offices countrywide.

Speaking in Pretoria, Gigaba says the extended working periods will come into operation from the last weekend of July until August 3.

Gigaba says the decision to extend hours is in line with the department’s mandate prescribed by the law to assist and afford the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to deliver a free, fair and credible local government election.

“The Department will ensure that Home Affairs offices across the country are open on the following days: On Saturday 30th July from 8:30am until 7pm. Usually the offices on weekends close at 1pm. On Monday and Tuesday the 1st and 2nd of August during the days when special votes are being cast we will open at 8:30am and close at 6pm. On Wednesday the 3rd of August the offices will open from 7am to coincide with the opening and closing times of the voting stations across the country.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs has also called on citizens to collect their ID documents before election day.

Gigaba says about a quarter of a million green ID books and smart ID cards have not been collected nationwide.

Gigaba says: “We urge all citizens to collect their IDs without delay. We call on all stakeholders and local government officials to help with the distribution of these documents. Officials should also assist those citizens who are struggling to reach Home Affairs offices to collect their documents, including those living in remote and rural communities and historically disadvantaged communities.”