Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced that Home Affairs has suspended services for smart IDs, passports and marriage registrations under the amended Level 3 lockdown regulations announced by President Ramaphosa last night.
Motsoaledi painted a grim picture of the situation at Home Affairs, saying that:
“Huge crowds gather at our offices while not observing protocols, regardless of markings, people don’t observe rules. The situation of not observing protocol has gotten worse.”
Motsoaledi says out of 412 offices, 266 had to close at some point since lockdown began in March 2020. Some offices were closed more than once because employees had tested positive.
Between March and December, he says 532 staff members in the Civic branch tested positive for Covid-19. The affected employees are mostly from Gauteng, KZN and Eastern Cape. Seven front office employees have already died in 2021, also putting a strain on service delivery.
The Minister says the issuing of death certificates has also increased exponentially. All indications are that at the end of January, we would have had even more death registrations than in 2020.
Death registration in December 55 676 more than what was registered in the previous two years.
“On 4 and 5 January, Home Affairs registered 10 582 deaths. If this trends are going upwards…it will get worse.”
Taking all these factors into consideration, Home Affairs has decided to suspended certain services temporarily:
- Application for smart IDs is suspended, except for matriculants
- Applications for passports, except for people who fall in categories that are permitted to travel
- Marriage services, solemnisation and registration of marriages
- Collection of IDs will only be for people who have received SMS notifications
Motsoaledi said that Home Affairs will continue to operate from Monday to Friday, and will extend operating hours to 19:00 until 15 February to accommodate people to register births and deaths.
“In order to defeat the pandemic, we appeal to everyone to observe Covid-19 protocols. No one will be allowed to enter Home Affairs offices without masks. Our biggest enemy is not complying with social distancing.”
FNB announced on Monday via its Twitter page that some of the functionality on its digital platforms was unavailable.
“We are aware that some of our functionality is temporarily unavailable. Our IT teams are working to restore the affected functionality,” said the bank in its tweet.
According to users, when they tried to the access the app they would receive a message that said that the system was unavailable and the users should try again later.
The bank apologised to its customers for the inconvenience.
By Tuesday, it had fixed its Foreign Exchange services, and on Wednesday announced that lotto and electricity services were back online.
As of Wednesday, airtime and data services were still not working.
Source: News Hub
Microsoft Office 365 users have taken to Twitter to complain that the company’s services are down. Users in the US, Australia and New Zealand have been badly hit, according to outage tracker website Downdetector.
Microsoft 365 said in a Twitter post it was investigating the issue.
“We’ve identified that multiple Microsoft 365 services are affected and we’re actively looking for the swiftest means of restoring access.”
Some Twitter users have reported the issue has been resolved while others say they’re still offline.
According to Down Detector, a high number of issues were reported along Australia’s east coast, New Zealand, Japan, and the West Coast of the US.
It was unclear what caused the issue and when service would be restored.
Released in 2011, Office 365 is an integrated product of Microsoft apps and services. Products in the service include Outlook 365 and Skype.
Google scrambled to fix an issue which caused its search engine, YouTube, Gmail and Drive to crash on Tuesday night.
The tech giant posted updates to say issues on each of its products have been resolved on the G Suite Status Dashboard.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” the company said as an update to each of the affected products.
Gmail, YouTube, Drive, Google Maps and other services were reported to have experienced issues around the world.
South Africans also experienced problems, with 176 issues reported on the local DownDetector from 18:00 on Tuesday evening.
Other DownDetectors from around the world reported issues from around the same time.
Google said all services have since been restored, but had not indicated what had caused the problem in the first place.
By Kyle Venktess for Fin24
Facebook recently unveiled a new mobile app that allows people in developing countries to access basic services over the Internet for free.