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DISAPPOINTMENT AS PASSPORT SYSTEM MALFUNCTIONS

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MBABANE – Instead of bringing excitement and relief, the availability of travel documents has brought disappointment to some local citizens.


This comes after the system used by the Immigrations Department encountered technical glitches which disturbed the production of the documents. As a result, some of the information on the travel documents was mixed up while others could not be produced at all, which led to some applicants being turned back when they came to fetch them.


Officers from the department have had to spend time explaining to most of the disappointed applicants who obviously demanded answers on why their travel documents had not been produced or why they had information that did not belong to them.
According to Acting Chief Immigration Officer Makhosi Simelane, the glitches were caused by the fact that the system’s capacity to load pending documents became overstretched.


Simelane highlighted that it was an unprecedented glitch, which could not be faulted on anyone.
He acknowledged that while it was not the first time that the department faced a shortage of travel documents, it had never had the problem of the system being overloaded.


 He mentioned that when they announced the arrival of a batch of 2 000 travel documents, his enrolment on the system that was pending was for close to 5 000 which is why they took the decision to give preference to those who needed them urgently.
“Unfortunately, we found ourselves facing a challenge because we discovered that our system was not used to carrying such a big load so it started giving us problems,” he said.

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