Passports of South Africa
  • South Africa's borders remain closed to most travellers, and you still can't apply for a new passport.
  • There is no way to extend the validity of passports, the government says.
  • But those who applied for passports at bank branches before lockdown, at the end of March, can now collect those documents at 20 such branches.
  • Collections are only available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Here is the list of bank branches where you can collect your passport.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

South Africa's borders remain closed for most travellers, and for the time being the department of home affairs will not be accepting applications for new passports, home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.

But some people who applied for passports before lockdown started may now be able to collect their documents.

Some of the banks that facilitate applications for identity documents and passports will open for collections on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Motsoaledi said.

Those banks will not accept new passport applications, and the online home affairs system for applications also remains closed. Only passports for emergency travel will be issued during Level 2, said Motsoaledi.

In total 20 bank branches will offer collections. They are:

  • Absa Greenacres in Port Elizabeth
  • Absa Sandton City, Johannesburg
  • Absa Towers in the Johannesburg CBD
  • Absa Lifestyle in Centurion
  • FNB Lifestyle Centurion
  • FNB Menlyn, outside Pretoria
  • FNB Merchant Place, Sandton, Johannesburg
  • FNB Portside in Cape Town
  • Investec Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Nedbank Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Nedbank Constantia Kloof, Roodepoort
  • Nedbank Rivonia, Johannesburg
  • Nedbank Nelspruit
  • Nedbank St George’s Mall in Cape Town
  • Standard Bank Simmonds Street, in Johannesburg
  • Standard Bank Canal Walk in Cape Town
  • Standard Bank Killarney Mall in Johannesburg
  • Standard Bank Centurion Lifestyle
  • Standard Bank Kingsmead, Durban
  • Standard Bank Jubilee Mall in Hammanskraal

There is an expectation that passports that have expired, or will expire soon, will have their expiry dates extended, said Motsoaledi, as has been done with the likes of driver's licences. But that is simply not possible, he said.

"You can not extend a passport... you will never enter any country," said Motsoaledi.

South Africans abroad will be issued with temporary, one-way passports, he said, so they can get home, but with embassies closed they can not apply for anything other than such emergency documents. 

"I want this issue to be understood very clearly: we can not as some people have asked extend a passport through a stamp or whatever, passports are never extended."

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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