Minister Malusi Gigaba: eHomeAffairs portal media briefing

Statement by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba at the Media Briefing on the eHomeAffairs portal and extension of the age bracket to accommodate citizens, 16 years and above, who want to apply online for the new Smart ID Card and Passports, Cape Town

When we launched the eHomeAffairs portal in the last four months, we invited citizens between 30 and 35 years old to use this innovative platform to apply for their Smart ID Cards and passports, online. As at 23 August 2016, a total of 35 751 applications have been submitted through the system, of which 50% has been finalised to date.

Online applications are making a huge difference in the time spent in queues. In April, in the first month following the launch, we were at four thousand and eighty eight (4 088) online applications.

As from today, the system is now open to all citizens who bank with the four participating banks: ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank. Currently 12 branches of these banks are connected to the system in Gauteng, with 1 branch in Cape Town (Canal Walk Standard Bank).

While most of these branches are centralised in Gauteng, plans are apace to enter into a Public Private Partnership with participating banks, hopefully to be finalised in October this year, to increase our footprint in the provinces, thus allowing for more South Africans to access the online service. We envision this will be a complete re-imagination of Home Affairs services.

The Steering Committee wherein our department and the banks are represented is monitoring the implementation and performance of the system. It was in this context that we were able to identify gaps in the system and speedily recommend upgrades to the Live Capture System.

Accordingly, the department will undertake system maintenance and enhancements from Saturday, 03 September 2016 in 178 offices that issue Smart ID Cards and the 12 banks. There will be limited DHA services in this period. Offices will not offer Smart ID Card and passport services on that day.

Benefits of the system upgrade are the following:

” Citizens will be able to make changes to their already submitted application forms on eHomeAffairs at any point, until the application process is concluded at their banks.

” Offline performance enhancements will enable capturing of applications even when the Live Capture System is offline, to ensure clients are not turned away, or inconvenienced.

” Communications will be improved with regard to payments on eHomeAffairs, by sending a notice if payment has not been completed.

eHomeAffairs was launched on 7 April 2016 at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, for our people to reap the fruits of the digital revolution, ensuring they access government services online. This is the direction we are taking with the view fully to embrace the digitization of public services, to improve service quality and standards for South Africans.

As we reimagine Home Affairs, it is these global technological developments we are exploring, for the benefit of the modern citizen and client, particularly in a South Africa that has a high population of young people, who are indeed fascinated by new technologies and trending gadgets.

With eHomeAffairs, you can download and fill the e-application form, make an electronic payment and book an appointment to complete the application process at your nearest participating bank, assured of peace of mind and personalised service.

Long-term, the Department of Home Affairs aims to replace about 34 million green-barcoded ID books with the Smart ID Card. We are at 5.2 million cards issued. That is why we urge all citizens, except for first time applicants of IDs, to use eHomeAffairs conveniently to apply for Smart ID Cards, and passports.

We are indebted to the participating banks for their support, and cooperation. At the end of the day, giving citizens a high-tech, fraud-proof smart card serves to advance South Africa’s commitment to build a new national identity system that is credible, and reliable. eHomeAffairs is hosted on the DHA website and provides a secure portal. Those who experience problems in the application process should call the Home Affairs Toll Free number – 0800 60 11 90.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa.