Naturally born South Africans have been able to apply for their smart ID card and passports using the E-Home Affairs system since the country’s COVID-19 alert status was lowered to level 1 at the beginning of March.
Through the E-Home Affairs programme, South Africans are able to get their smart ID card and passport through four of the country’s five major banks — Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank. Discovery Bank and Investec recently launched their first E-Home Affairs branches.
South Africa first launched its Smart IDs in 2014, initially limiting the availability to first-time applicants and pensioners.
The eligibility requirements of the new ID card were slowly relaxed to include all residents of Gauteng, then the residents of the rest of the country between the ages of 25 and 40, and, finally, everyone.
A pilot of the E-Home Affairs system, initially called the “e-channel portal”, was conducted during 2015 and the system was officially launched in April 2016.
To capture your biometric data and collect your documents from a bank branch, you must be a client of that bank.
If your bank does not participate in the programme, or if your bank does not have an E-Home Affairs branch near you, then you will have to book your biometric data capture appointment at the best available Home Affairs office.
According to the banks, the Department of Home Affairs designed the system this way so as not to give one bank a competitive advantage over another.
Active E-Home Affairs branches
All of South Africa’s biggest banks – with the exception of Capitec – offer the E-Home Affairs service at a handful of their branches.
When MyBroadband previously asked Capitec why it does not participate in the E-Home Affairs initiative, it said that it has no plans to add Home Affairs service desks because it has smaller optimised premises to help keep its fees as low as possible.
Capitec did not respond to a request for comment on this article.
Absa, FNB, Nedbank, and Standard Bank have had multiple branches supporting the service for several years. Discovery Bank and Investec Bank recently started participating in the programme with one branch each.
FNB told MyBroadband that it has issued over 251,000 smart ID cards and passports since the inception of its partnership with the Department.
The table below shows all of the bank branches where you can book appointments to capture biometric data for your smart ID and passport application, and collect your documents when they are ready.
|Active eHomeAffairs branches|
|Absa Centurion Lifestyle Centre||Centurion||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|Absa Sandton City||Johannesburg||c/o Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton|
|Absa Towers||Johannesburg||160 Main Street, Johannesburg|
|Absa Greenacres||Port Elizabeth||Greenacres Shopping Centre, 1 Ring Rd|
|Absa Key West||Krugersdorp||Shop 80, Key West Shopping Centre, c/o Paardekraal Drive & Viljoen Street|
|Discovery Bank Sandton||Johannesburg||1 Discovery Place, c/o Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton|
|FNB Burgersfort||Burgersfort, Limpopo||Shop 55 Twin City Complex, Dirk Winterbach Street|
|FNB Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|FNB Lynnwood||Pretoria||Shop 4, upper level, Cnr Simon Vermooten & Lynnwood Road, Equestria|
|FNB Merchant Place||Johannesburg||4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia Road & Fredman Drive|
|FNB Portside||Cape Town||5 Buitengracht St, Portside Building|
|Investec Bank Sandton||Johannesburg||100 Grayston Drive, Sandown|
|Nedbank Arcadia||Pretoria||c/o Steve Biko & Madiba Street|
|Nedbank Sandown||Johannesburg||Shop L05 Block I Lower Ground, c/o Rivonia Rd & Maude St|
|Nedbank Constantia Kloof||Johannesburg||18 Constantia Boulevard, Constantia Kloof|
|Nedbank St George’s Mall||Cape Town||Shop 3 Atterbury House, St Georges Mall, Long Market St|
|Nedbank Nelspruit Crossing||Nelspruit||Shop 65 The Crossing Shopping Centre, c/o Madiba & Samora Machel Drives, Nelspruit|
|Standard Bank Centurion||Centurion||c/o Hendrik Verwoerd & South Street|
|Standard Bank Killarney Mall||Johannesburg||Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road, Houghton|
|Standard Bank Simmonds Street||Johannesburg||5 Simmonds Street|
|Standard Bank Canal Walk||Cape Town||Shop 599 Upper Level, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City|
|Standard Bank Jubilee Mall||Hammanskraal||Shop 47 Jubilee Mall, c/o Jubilee Road D154 and Harry Gwala Road D2757|
|Standard Bank Kingsmead||Durban||Standard Bank Centre, 1 Kingsmead Way, Stamford Hill|
|Standard Bank Newton Park||Port Elizabeth||1 Pickering Street, Newton Park|
|Standard Bank Promenade Mall||Cape Town||Road Shop 73-75 Promenade Mall Beacon Valley, c/o AZ Berman Road & Morgenster Road|
Planned E-Home Affairs branches
The table below summarises the branches where smart ID and passport services are set to be rolled out in the near future.
The Absa and Nedbank branches in the table were originally scheduled to go online in 2020, but the rollouts were delayed.
Three FNB and two of the Nedbank branches have been scheduled to be rolled out in 2021.
Absa declined to comment when asked for an update on the status of these roll-outs and referred our questions to the Department of Home Affairs.
Nedbank said that it was waiting on the Department of Home Affairs to finalise a partnership agreement before it can continue its roll-outs.
Under the new agreement, banks will be able to use their own staff to offer E-Home Affairs services.
Currently, the DHA appointed staff manage and operate dedicated areas within participating banks where they process appointments that are booked via the DHA website.
Standard Bank told MyBroadband that only one of the five branches it planned to roll out in 2020 was affected by the pandemic.
“We were unable to open Kathu branch due to resource challenges [and] the PE branch was opened but experienced some challenges,” a spokesperson for the bank said, referring specific queries about these delays to Home Affairs.
No additional Standard Bank branches were earmarked for further E-Home Affairs roll-outs in 2021.
FNB said that its plans, to extend the smart ID and passport service to more branches over the next 12 months, remain on course.
“We continue to work with the Department of Home Affairs to explore making the service available in major provincial hubs across South Africa,” said Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence.
|Planned E-Home Affairs branches|
|Absa Claremont*||Cape Town||Absa on Grove, 11 Grove Ave|
|Absa Fourways||Johannesburg||Fourways View, c/o Witkoppen and Cedar Roads|
|Absa Menlyn Maine||Pretoria||181 Bancor Avenue|
|Absa Pinetown||Durban||1 Church Ln, New Germany, Pinetown|
|Absa Randburg||Johannesburg||Shop L65, Ferndale on Republic, Republic Road|
|Absa Rosebank||Johannesburg||21 Cradock Ave|
|Absa Stellenbosch||Stellenbosch||Oude Bloemhof Building, c/o Plein and Ryneveld Streets|
|Absa Waterfall Mall||Rustenburg||1 Augrabies Ave, Cashan|
|Absa Woodlands||Pretoria||Shop 6 Woodlands Boulevard, c/o Garsfontein Road and De Villebois Drive|
|FNB Century City*||Cape Town||Shop 171, Canal Walk, 139 Century Boulevard Street|
|FNB Cornubia*||Durban||Shop U76, Cornubia Mall, Flanders & Tacoma Drives, Blackburn Estate, Mount Edgecombe|
|FNB The Glen*||Johannesburg||Shop U2, c/o Orpen & Letaba Rd, The Glen Shopping Centre, Gleneagles,|
|Nedbank Durban North*||Durban||c/o Broadway & St Andrews Drive, Durban North|
|Nedbank North Cape Mall*||Kimberley||Memorial Road, Royldene|
|Nedbank Rustenburg Square||Rustenburg||Von Wielligh Street|
|Standard Bank Kathu||Kathu||Shop 62, Village Walk Shopping Centre, Hendrik Van Eck Street|
|*Scheduled for 2021|