The Department of Home Affairs is custodian, protector and verifier of the identity and status of citizens and other persons resident in South Africa. This makes it possible for people to realize their rights and access benefits and opportunities in both the public and private domains.
The Department controls, regulates and facilitates immigration and the movement of persons through ports of entry. It also provides civic and immigration services at foreign missions; and determines the status of asylum seekers and refugees in accordance with international obligations.
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New smart ID card to be introduced this year
9 May 2013
Pretoria – Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says the long-awaited smart Identity Document (ID) card will be rolled out in the second quarter of this current financial year.
The smart IDs will first be issued to all first-time ID and re-issue applicants.
The smart IDs will initially be introduced at 27 Home Affairs offices across the country, in three offices in each province.
This, according to Home Affairs, is part of the process of moving towards a “paperless environment” in the department.
“It is a contactless card containing a microchip embedded with biometric security features. It has a life span of at least 10 years,” said Pandor.
The new smart ID card will have a microchip, the specifications for which cannot be disclosed for security reasons, which will house the necessary biometric data unique to every individual. The information on the chip will be laser-engraved to prevent tampering.
The smart cards aim to cut down on the fraudulent use of fake or stolen IDs, as the department says the new cards will be almost impossible to forge.
Pandor said the cost of the smart ID card will be the same as the amount paid for the green bar-coded ID, which currently costs R140. IDs are free for first time applicants.
According to Pandor, the new ID will take about three days for the applicant to receive.
She assured those who will be in possession of the new IDs that they will be able to use them for next year’s general elections.
She said it would take the department seven to eight years to do away with the old IDs.
With regard to the National Population Registration, Pandor said her department will introduce an online birth registration facility in 40 health institutions throughout the country.
The department wants babies to be registered within 30 days of birth. To make registration easier, the department has connected hospitals, clinics and other health care centres to the department’s database.
“We will increase the reach of these services by adding online birth registration facilities in 40 health institutions,” Pandor said.
According to Pandor, since the initiative was introduced, the number of babies registered within 30 days had increased by 6% from 556,762 to 602,530 in the past year.
Registering a South African national after 30 days of birth is referred to as the late registration of birth.
“One of the challenges we deal with on a daily basis is registering the births of adults who were not registered as babies and therefore do not have birth certificates. We will bring this process to an end by the 2015/16 financial year,” said Pandor.
The minister also said the department, working with the Department of Basic Education, will ensure that all 16 year olds apply for and receive IDs.
“An ID is a crucial document that enables you access to a range of services and opportunities.
“In the current financial year, we will improve on our efforts to build the National Population Register by ensuring that all 16 year olds apply for and receive IDs,” she said.
Additionally, Pandor said the department would invalidate all duplicate IDs by December 2013.
“The department has since 2009 been engaged in a process of cleaning up its National Population Register and this included removing duplicate ID numbers,” she said.
Issuing of abridged birth certificates to end in March 2013
Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs will from 4 March 2013 stop issuing abridged birth certificates and will only issue unabridged birth certificates to parents of new born babies.
Briefing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, 31 January 2013, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said the unabridged birth certificates will be issued on the spot and at no cost and will contain the details of both parents. Minister Pandor said this was part of the department's move towards a paperless environment as well as to curb fraud.
According to the department, the current abridged birth certificate is easy to reproduce illegally as it contains only the name and ID number of the newborn baby and the mother.
It also contains only the details of the individual's birth -- identity number, names in full, country of birth -- and is a computer printout birth certificate, which is issued in the respective regional or district offices of the Department of Home Affairs.
With regard to orphans, Minister Pandor said particulars of the legal guardians will be required.
"As a government department, one of our main functions is to issue secure, credible and accurate birth certificates and ID documents to all our people," the minister said.
She said the Department was able to issue unabridged certificates as a result of the current IT modernization project that is aimed at enhancing service delivery.
The department announced that it plans to have an online birth registration facility at all hospitals and clinics in the country to ensure that all births are registered on time.
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National Population Registration Campaign
Home Affairs is intensifying its public outreach programme to ensure that each and every citizen, young and old, has been registered on the National Population Register and has the right document at a specified time of their lives.
Independent Electoral Commission
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