Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has extended the age bracket of South Africa citizens able to use the eHomeAffairs online portal to apply for the new Smart ID Card and passport to 16 years and above.
The system, launched four months ago, was initially only accessible for citizens aged between 30 and 35. “As from today, the system is now open to all citizens [16 years and over] who bank with the four participating banks: Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank,” the minister told a media briefing in Cape Town yesterday.
“Currently, 12 branches of these banks are connected to the system in Gauteng, with one branch in Cape Town.”
According to Gigaba, a total of 35 751 applications had so far been submitted through the system, of which 50% had been finalised.
“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.”
Gigaba said the department would undertake system maintenance and enhancement in the 178 Home Affairs offices that issued Smart ID Cards and the 12 banks from September 3.
The upgraded system would allow citizens to make changes to their already submitted application forms on eHomeAffairs at any point, until the application process was concluded at their banks.
Offline performance enhancements would further enable the capturing of applications, even when the Live Capture System was offline, to ensure clients were not turned away.
“As we reimagine Home Affairs, it is these global technological developments we are exploring, for the benefit of the modern citizen and client,” Gigaba said.
“At the end of the day, giving citizens a hi-tech, fraud-proof smart card serves to advance South Africa’s commitment to building a new national identity system that is credible and reliable.”