Over 35 000 Apply for ID, Passport via Ehomeaffairs: South Africa

Over 35 000 applications for Smart ID Cards and passports have been received through the recently-launched eHomeAffairs portal to date as informed by Malusi Gigaba, Home Affairs Minister.

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.

He added, "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".

On 7 April 2016, at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, eHomeAffairs was launched 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”.

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 through the portal.

The Minister further said, “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 all citizens older than 16 years can apply for identity documents using the portal.

Four months ago when eHomeAffairs was launched, 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”.

He said, "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 told, “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."

  Source: allafrica