South Africa is introducing self-service IDs and passports – what you should know

 ·25 May 2022

The Department of Home Affairs is introducing a self-service system for smart IDs, passports and other documentation.

Presenting his departmental budget speech this week, deputy minister Njabulo Nzuza said the system is planned for roll out in the 2022/2023 financial year.

“The 2022/2023 budget will see us exploring new ways to better serve citizens. We will procure kiosks that will allow clients to self-service for passports and smart ID applications and reprint birth, marriage and death certificates,” he said.

“The kiosk will be designed in a manner that will require authentication through biometrics and will be located in strategic areas to allow access even after office hours or weekends. The self-service kiosk will usher a new era in the manner in which we service our clients.”

Nzuza added that his department will be rapidly expanding its online booking system in the coming months.

“The Branch Appointment Booking System pilot currently operates on a hybrid model in the 25 offices that we have rolled in because we didn’t want to turn away clients that have not made a booking and it is only used to book for applications of passports and Smart ID cards only.

“In the future, we would like to only service booked clients for those two products because it is our firm belief that scheduling an appointment for those two products is possible compared to scheduling a death or birth registration because those are occurrences that are not planned for in advance hence we will continue to take walk-ins for those two services.”

Citizens will be able to access the Home Affairs website link to schedule an appointment on their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, he said.

He added that the government is exploring partnerships with more institutions and are in discussions with the South African Post Office to extend the accessibility of services.

“We are also exploring opening offices in the major shopping centres in which we envisage a positive uptake, with five of the malls having offered rent-free space for five years.”

Read: The shopping malls where you’ll soon be able get your Smart ID or passport in South Africa

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