Kamanjab home affairs office still closed after 7 years

TIME TO OPEN … Kamanjab residents in front of the home affairs office before it was temporarily closed.
. . . No deaths registered due to absence of mortuary

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security’s Kamanjab office was temporarily closed seven years ago due to low numbers of births and deaths at the town, but calls are being made for its reopening.

Etienne Maritz, the executive director of home affairs, immigration, safety and security, this week said the office was temporarily closed due to these low statistics.

“An observation for over six months before the office was temporarily closed revealed that the sub-office could register one or two births in a month and not a single death, due to the absence of a mortuary in the area,” he said.

Maritz said the situation didn’t “reflect well on value for money”, hence the temporary closure.

He said if a mortuary and mortuary ward were to be set up at Kamanjab, the ministry would reopen the office.

Kamanjab counstituency councillor Nico Somaeb yesterday said the village needs a home affairs office as it is evident from a ministry outreach exercise that residents do require its services, although to a limited extent.

Somaeb said he submitted documents to the ministry to reconsider opening the Kamanjab office last year, but has received no response.

“As the population is growing, we need the services of home affairs,” he said.

Somaeb said pictures he recently took of people queuing for services prove this need.

The office had two staff members and operated from the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare at the north-western village.

Maritz said a decision was communicated to the Kunene Regional Council and a standing agreement was reached to conduct a monthly outreach to Kamanjab.

This would be managed by the Outjo sub-regional office or the Opuwo regional office, he said.

Somaeb said mobile services only address shortcomings and residents requiring documents issued are experiencing challenges.

The ministry’s sub-office used to serve Kamanjab and surrounding areas, including the Sesfontein constituency.

Although Khorixas, Outjo and Opuwo have home affairs offices, distance is a challenge, Somaeb said.

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