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At last! Home Affairs plans to finally make services digital

The Department of Home Affairs is introducing digital services to ensure a credible population register, not vulnerable to theft and fraud.

Good news for South Africans, the days of standing on those long queues and spending hours at Home Affairs will soon be a thing of the past!

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that his Home Affairs department is working on a number of tech-focused features, with plans to take some services digital.

DIGITAL SERVICES TO CURB IDENTITY THEFT

In a recent written parliamentary Q&A, Motsoaledi said that the department will also introduce a number of changes which are aimed at increased identity security for citizens.

“The department has partnered with the Department of Health to ensure that each child is allocated with a birth certificate on the spot, by registering birth at health facilities.

 

This will curb identity theft from the onset as an ID number gets allocated and remains with the child for life. The primary purpose is to ensure a credible population register, not vulnerable to theft and fraud,” Motsoaledi said.

With ‘live capture’, Motsoaledi said that the department is able to identify applicants through online verification which has a direct interface with the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to identify persons through biometrics.

ENHANCED SECURITY FEATURES FOR SMART ID CARD AND PASSPORT

Furthermore, during the collection of smart identity cards, online verification is also performed to ensure that the correct enabling document is handed over to the appropriate clients.

 

According to Business Tech, Motsoaledi said that the South African Smart ID card and passport also have enhanced security features.

“The department is moving away from paper to a paperless environment. The department is thereby progressively phasing out the manual application process.

“In addition, in terms of the Departments of Home Affairs’ Information Security Policy, a model was built around proactive risk assessment and risk management where all users responsible for registering and capturing births and identity-related applications within the domain of the organization, are assigned with biometric fingerprint authentication, to detect and hold users accountable for fraudulent activities,” he said

Motsoaledi also urged everyone who visits Home Affairs offices to observe social distancing, sanitise their hands regularly and to wear their masks properly, covering their noses and mouths. “Nobody will be allowed into our offices if they are not wearing their masks properly,” Motsoaledi said.

SERVICES AT HOME AFFAIRS

Home Affairs announced the resumption of a number of services under South Africa’s level 1 lockdown at the start of March.

This comes after several services were temporarily suspended due to concerns around COVID-19 transmissions.

The following services are now available:

  • Births registration;
  • Re-issuance of births certificates;
  • Late Registration of Birth (LRB) for learners and pensioners only;
  • Death registration;
  • Applications temporary identity certificate (TIC);
  • Collection of identity cards or documents;
  • Applications and collection of passports for those who are exempted to travel;
  • Applications for identity (Smart ID) cards or documents for matriculants only;
  • Re-issues of Smart ID cards and identity documents;
  • Registration and solemnization of marriages;
  • Amendments and rectifications;
  • Late Registration of Birth (LRB) for all categories;
  • Applications and collections of passports for all categories.

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