Answer to a question from a reader

Can I get Home Affairs to make my ID interview sooner if it's urgent?

The short answer

Your best bet is probably to ask an organisation that frequently deals with Home Affairs to help you.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

Home Affairs hasn't given me an interview date for my late registration of birth/ID application and I need to expedite the process so that I can register my children and get them in school.

The long answer

Since February 2022, it has been possible for parents to register the birth of their children within 12 months rather than 30 days, as was required before the Covid pandemic. This is a definite improvement, but it still takes a very long time to get an interview from Home Affairs.

This is because they have a huge backlog of applications for late birth registration. In November 2022 when Home Affairs had to answer questions from Members of Parliament, a DA Member said that they had visited the Amersfoort community on 27 March 2023 and many people said that they had applied for birth certificates as far back as 2019 but were still waiting for interview appointments from Home Affairs. Some had simply given up hope.

Home Affairs always says it takes so long because people are trying to obtain ID documents fraudulently, so they have to do a lot of checks, but the truth is that Home Affairs is not working as it should to help people in terms of the Constitution. 

But even if Home Affairs does not hear the voices of ordinary people, they can be made to listen if someone with a more powerful voice steps in. For example, in the case of a person who had waited five years for a late registration of birth (LBR) interview, an organisation took up her case with Home Affairs and it was discovered that Home Affairs had closed her file after attempting three times to phone her to come for an interview and failing to get her on the line. (The Home Affairs protocol seems to be that they must try three times and then they can close the file.) It’s not clear to me what the problem was, but in the end, she got her LBR interview with Home Affairs and got the birth certificate.

So, it seems to me that your best bet is to ask one of the following organisations to help you speak to Home Affairs: 


tel: 021 465 6433


Musina: 015 534 2203

Durban: 031 301 0531

Pretoria: 012 320 2943

Johannesburg: 011 339 1960

Cape Town: 021 424 8561


Tel: Johannesburg: 011 836 9831

Cape Town: 021 481 3000

  • The Black Sash


Helpline: 072 66 33 73

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Oct. 31, 2023, 1:20 p.m.

See more questions and answers

Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.