PEOPLE who hoped to take advantage of lockdown and swiftly tie the knot will have to wait.
This after Home Affairs suspended ts marital services such as solemnisation and registration.
Other services such as the application of smart IDs and passports were also suspended, while the department battled the spike in Covid-19 cases.
This was announced by Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday.
However, matric pupils were exempt from the suspension and could apply for IDs while those who were permitted to travel could also apply for passports.
Motsoaledi said: “Our statistics from 1 January are quite alarming.
“Out of 412 offices, 266 had to close at some point since the lockdown because staff members tested positive.
“Some offices closed more than once. Out of the civic branch’s 5 734 employees, 4 502 were affected and could not work at some time or another.”
He said between March and last month, 532 staff members tested positive, mostly from Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KZN.
Motsoaledi said in the first eight days of January, 116 tested positive, mostly from KZN, Gauteng and Limpopo.
“Each time a staff member tests positive, the people they came in contact with, including clients, either go into self-isolation or get tested. The office is closed for decontamination.”
The department had extended its operating hours to 7pm until 15 February to accommodate deaths and births registrations.
“We’re doing so to enable funeral parlours and families to bury their loved ones in the requisite period for Covid deaths,” said Motsoaledi.