ID, passport applications go electronic

20 August 2009

The Department of Home Affairs says its one step closer to implementing its new electronic system for South Africa’s identity documents, after the process proved to be a success for passports.

“By Friday last week, the system had been implemented in at least 20 of our offices, and officials in these offices have changed from the manual way of doing things to electronic processing,” the department’s Vusi Mkhize told BuaNews on Tuesday.

He said once all the necessary information technology requirements had been met, the department planned to roll out the system to all Home Affairs offices in the country.

The system has the capacity to capture information for both IDs and passports.

‘Live capture, not online applications’

However, Mkhize said applicants should not think they would be able to do the process on their own.

“That is why it’s called live-capture. Officials will capture all your information, including verification of fingerprints, digital signatures, and it’s quicker than manual capturing,” he said.

Live capturing ensured that details were immediately verified from the local office instead of going via head office, reducing waiting time by three to five days, he said.

The department wants to ensure that the number of offices with live-capture workstations, valued at between R220 000 and R250 000, is increased dramatically before the end of the year.

For security reasons, he said, people would not be able to apply for IDs on the internet.

Population register

The department will shortly launch a campaign, which will run until 2011, under which every child under 14 without a birth certificate will be registered, ensuring that children are captured in South Africa’s population register before they apply for an ID.

Source: BuaNews