The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs is still overwhelmed with a huge number of uncollected national identity cards or Omang, the ministry’s permanent secretary Kebonye Moepeng has revealed.
Moepeng last week told the Public Accounts Committee that although they have made significant progress in addressing the issue of congestion at Omang offices, now they are struggling to get in touch with the people who had applied to collect their identity cards.
She said they are currently sitting on about 47, 000 uncollected cards.
“We have made significant progress in terms of reaching out to the people and improving our turnaround time for production. It used to take eight weeks to produce Omang, but now it takes a week.
But now we have realised that we are too fast in producing the cards hence we have a huge number of uncollected cards. Now we are going back to the same people to give them their Omang,” she said.
Moepeng further indicated that the outreach programmes they started have worked in terms of reducing congestion and dealing with applications, but there is need to reach out to the applicants to collect their cards.
She stated that since April they have received over 58, 000 applications for renewal of expired cards and have managed to do a better
“Our outreach programmes have worked. We acquired 105 laptops and engaged 214 interns to work at those outstations to specifically deal with the applications. But we realised that now we have another problem of collection,” added Moepeng.
She said they have since introduced the SMS notification system to alert the applicants once their identity cards are ready for collection.
Early this year, the Ministry said it is experiencing congestion at Omang offices across the country. The Ministry stated that the congestion is caused by the fact that Omang, which started in 1988, is valid for 10 years and is renewed every other 10th year, therefore the cards for all people who did them that year need renewing.
The office said it experiences congestion at the end of each year ending with an ‘8’. However, Moepeng said there has been a significant improvement and have received good feedback.