Cape Town: As of April, eligible citizens will be able to apply for their Smart ID Cards at the Home Affair’s kiosks in their nearest bank, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday.
The Minister said this when he led a briefing by government’s Governance and Administration Cluster at the Imbizo Media Centre in Parliament on Tuesday.
The Minister said this would be a pilot project.
The Minister said to date, two banks – FNB and Standard Bank – have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Home Affairs for the pilot project.
Nedbank has indicated its willingness to sign on the dotted line and Minister Gigaba hopes Absa will also join the partnership.
He said his department had also approached the South African Post Office with the aim of reaching an agreement on how some of its infrastructure could be used as well.
“There are several new innovations that are going to be introduced by the department in the course of this and the next financial years to assist South Africans in applying for their Smart ID Cards and passports in an extremely convenient way.
“That is why the President announced that we will soon be able to apply for our Smart ID Cards at our bank…
“At the moment there are three banks that have come on board and we have signed a memorandum of understanding to start a pilot process with them – so that a person can … go to the Home Affairs kiosk in the bank, submit all their applications, take their biometric photograph, automated fingerprint and their electronic signature and that is compiled to an electronic package and deposited to Home Affairs,” he said.
The Minister said the innovation would help ease the queues at Home Affairs’ 403 offices nationwide, while delivering a crucial service to citizens quicker, efficiently and professionally.
Those that are eligible to apply are pensioners older than 60 years or 16 year-olds.
Meanwhile, the Minister said government had a massive task to ensure that over 38 million citizens with green-coded ID books are converted to Smart ID Cards.
“To date we have issued over one million Smart ID Cards, in less than a year. We are confident of reaching the target of 1.6 million cards by the end of the 2014/15 financial year,” he said.
Deadline for late registration of births
Meanwhile, Minister Gigaba said government will continue with its campaign to register children within 30 days of birth, as part of maintaining the integrity of the National Population Register.
“To this end, we have announced that we will cease the process of the late registration of births by 31 December 2015. This critical milestone will ensure that we safeguard our identity, citizenship and secure our population register.”
Government will continue to brief media over the next few weeks regarding the implementation of the programme of action in the wake of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address 2015.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS