South African citizens will be able to apply for their smart card ID cards at Home Affairs kiosks in FNB and Standard Bank branches as part of a pilot project set to start in April 2015.
Two of South Africa’s biggest banks – FNB and Standard Bank – had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Home Affairs for the pilot project, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said at a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Nedbank has expressed its willingness to participate, Gigaba said, adding he was hopeful Absa and the South African Post Office would soon join in too.
Gigaba said the plan was part of the government’s plans to help make the ID cards accessible to all citizens.
“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.
Those that are eligible to apply for Smart IDs are pensioners older than 60 years or 16 year-olds.
Citizens will be able to submit their application as well as their biometric data via the kiosk at the bank. This includes taking a “biometric photograph”, submitting automated fingerprints and electronic signatures.
The minister said it was hoped the innovation would help ease the queues at Home Affairs’ 403 offices, while also delivering a crucial service to citizens more efficiently.
The government plans to convert the more than 38-million citizens with green-coded ID books to Smart ID Cards.
“We have issued over 1-million Smart ID Cards in less than a year,” Gigaba said. “We are confident of reaching the target of 1.6-million cards by the end of the 2014/15 financial year.”
Deadline for birth registration
The government was also continuing with its campaign to register children within 30 days of birth in efforts to maintain the integrity of the National Population Register, Gigaba said.
“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.”
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