Cape Town – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says just over 35 000 applications for Smart ID Cards and passports have been received through the recently-launched eHomeAffairs portal to date.
The Minister said the system was now open to citizens of all ages to apply. He said this when he briefed the media on the applications that have been received on the eHomeAffairs portal to date.
“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 4 088 online applications,” he said.
eHomeAffairs was launched on 7 April 2016 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand as part of Home Affairs migration from paper to digital services.
He said the department would continue on the path of fully embracing the digitization of public services to improve the service quality and standards of South Africans.
Through the portal, citizens can download and fill in the e-application form, make an electronic payment and book an appointment to complete the application process at their nearest participating bank.
“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,” the Minister said.
The Minister said all citizens older than 16 years can apply for identity documents using the portal.
When eHomeAffairs was launched four months ago, the department invited citizens between the ages of 30 and 35 to apply for their Smart ID Cards and passports.
“As from today, the system is now open to all citizens who bank with the four banks – ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.
“Currently, 12 branches of these banks are connected to the system in Gauteng, with one branch in Canal Walk (Standard Bank) in Cape Town,” he said.
He said government is working towards concluding a public-private partnership that will see the system, which is currently being offered at selected banks in Gauteng and the Western Cape, being rolled out to more provinces.
“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.”