The Department of Home Affairs will work on a number of new tech-focused initiatives over the coming financial year, National Treasury’s estimates of national expenditure for 2020 shows.
Chief amongst these initiatives is the continued rollout of smart ID cards to all eligible people across the country, with the department expecting to issue nine million cards over the medium-term.
“To improve its reach and accessibility, over the period ahead, the department plans to expand its public‐private partnership with the banking sector to provide services at more branches, and with other service providers such as the South African Post Office,” Treasury said.
“The department also plans to procure new mobile units and refurbish its existing fleet, leading to a projected increase in the number of mobile units from 100 in 2019/20 to 115 in 2020/21 at a cost of R20 million.”
Home Affairs will also continue the modernisation of its IT programme, allowing for higher efficiencies and predictability in business processes and products.
“The programme has enabled the department to automate its business processes that involve capturing information and images, digitising supporting documents, and issuing identity documents and passports by means of the paperless live capture system.”
Other initiatives outlined in the document include:
- Home Affairs is committed to ensuring that all births are registered within 30 days, as required by law, in line with the government’s priority to provide adequate services to all citizens;
- The department plans to promote business and leisure tourism, and economic development by improving its processing of permits and visas. This will be achieved generally by removing unnecessary barriers requirements;
- The department also plans to continue implementing the simplification process, whereby selected and low‐risk countries benefit from visa waivers and the relaxation of conditions as well as the rollout of the e‐visa system;
- The implementation of a passenger name record system and an advance passenger processing system. The passenger name record will be used to identify unknown threats based on passenger profiles and the advance passenger processing system is used to identify known suspects (for example, those on stop and watchlists).
More bank branches
MyBroadband recently reported that Home Affairs will roll out Smart ID and Passport facilities to 19 more bank branches in 2020.
The DHA launched Smart ID cards in 2013. These cards are a modern alternative to green ID books – which will eventually be phased out – and offer automated identity verification.
They boast a contactless chip and advanced security features including public and symmetric-key encryption.
The E-Home Affairs system was launched in 2016 and lets South Africans apply and pay for their card or a passport on the Home Affairs website.
Applicants can then collect their card or passport at a Home Affairs office or the nearest supported bank branch that offers a Home Affairs Live Capture Service.
Once a card or passport is ready for collection, it can be picked up at one of these bank branches. Users will need to provide biometric authentication to receive their documents.
You can find the full list of bank branches here.