The Department of Home Affairs has extended its online Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS) to 56 offices, following its launch in June to process Smart ID cards and passport applications.
Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that since its commencement in June 2022, 115,329 South Africans have used this system – now available in all nine provinces.
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The system was initially piloted in 24 of the department’s busiest offices upon soft launch in December, allowing booked and walk-in clients. However, in the future, select Home Affairs branches will only process smart ID and passport applications for clients who have booked an appointment through the Branch Appointment Booking System.
“Apart from making sure that there are no queues in the Home Affairs offices where it is implemented, the BABS system will help eradicate corruption by making sure that those who practice the obnoxious behaviour of selling queue spaces have no clients because clients book straight online and come at the appropriate time, and hence they have no need to buy space from anybody in the queue,” the minister said in May.
The minister said that the department also plans to introduce branches in shopping centres to ease the load on current offices.
Presenting his departmental budget speech in May, Motsoaledi said that while new branches are being built, the introduction of Home Affairs outlets inside shopping malls would provide ‘immediate relief’ in areas that already have high footfall.
“Operating Home Affairs offices at malls will obviate the problem of queuing in the sun or rain. Malls will also provide convenient and safe parking for clients,” he said.
Discussions are already underway with several malls around the country, including:
- Menlyn Mall in Tshwane
- Cresta Mall in Johannesburg
- Southgate Mall in Johannesburg
- The Pavillion in eThekwini
- Tygervalley Mall in Cape Town
“Since the malls still have to move some tenants around to make way for Home Affairs, we will install our equipment there around September this year. We shall start with the Menlyn Mall in Pretoria and then roll out to the rest,” he said.
Many of South Africa’s popular banks plan to extend the number of branches where customers can get their smart ID cards or passports, and avoid the chaotic Home Affairs process.
Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a parliamentary meeting last year, that the Department of Home Affairs’ partnership with banks is planned to extend to 70 branches.
The department is set to roll out its expansion from 1 July 2022.
First National Bank and Standard Bank make up the majority of home affairs supported bank branches while Capitec currently does not offer the service.
Applicants who wish to use their personal bank are required to register on the E-Home Affairs system, book an appointment and then visit the bank to make payment and collect the important documents.
The Department of Home Affairs also plans to expand its own E-services in the next few months to alleviate long queues and reduce strain on the department. The new system allows for clients to make a booking and visit the office on the date and time of the appointment without having to queue.
According to the Department of Home Affairs Annual Report for 2020/2021, the department continues to face common challenges, namely, unstable and uninterruptable network infrastructure, long queues, insufficient and poor office accommodation, and capacity constraints.
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) continually adjusts its list of approved bank branches where people can apply for a smart ID card or passport, with 26 branches currently available.
The below-mentioned branches do not allow for walk-ins and require an online application and booking process only.
|Absa Centurion Lifestyle Centre||Centurion, Gauteng||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|Absa Sandton City||Sandton, Gauteng||c/o Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton|
|Absa Port Elizabeth||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||Greenacres Shopping Centre, 1 Ring Rd|
|Absa Key West||Krugersdorp, Gauteng||Shop 80, Key West Shopping Centre, c/o Paardekraal Drive & Viljoen Street|
|Discovery Bank Sandton||Sandton, Johannesburg||1 Discovery Place, c/o Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton|
|FNB Burgersfort||Burgersfort, Limpopo||Shop 55 Twin City Complex, Dirk Winterbach Street|
|FNB Greenpoint||Greenpoint, Cape Town||Media Quarter, Somerset Road|
|FNB Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion, Gauteng||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|FNB Lynnwood||Pretoria, Gauteng||Shop 4, upper level, Cnr Simon Vermooten & Lynnwood Road, Equestria|
|FNB Merchant Place||Johannesburg, Gauteng||4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia Road & Fredman Drive|
|FNB Portside||Cape Town, Western Cape||5 Buitengracht St, Portside Building|
|FNB The Glen||Johannesburg, Gauteng||Shop U2, The Glen Shopping Centre, Glenvista, Johannesburg|
|FNB Cornubia||Durban, KZN||Shop u56, Cornubia Boulevard|
|Investec Bank Sandton||Sandton, Johannesburg||100 Grayston Drive, Sandown|
|Nedbank Arcadia||Pretoria, Gauteng||c/o Steve Biko & Madiba Street|
|Nedbank Sandown||Sandton, Gauteng||Shop L05 Block I Lower Ground, c/o Rivonia Rd & Maude St|
|Nedbank Constantia Kloof||Roodepoort, Gauteng||18 Constantia Boulevard, Constantia Kloof|
|Nedbank St George’s Mall||Cape Town, Western Cape||St Georges Mall, Cape Town|
|Nedbank Nelspruit Crossing||Mbombela, Mpumalanga||Shop 65 The Crossing Shopping Centre, c/o Madiba & Samora Machel Drives, Nelspruit|
|Standard Bank Centurion||Pretoria, Gauteng||c/o Hendrik Verwoerd & South Street|
|Standard Bank Killarney Mall||Johannesburg, Gauteng||Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road, Houghton|
|Standard Bank Simmonds Street||Johannesburg, Gauteng||5 Simmonds Street|
|Standard Bank Canal Walk||Cape Town, Western Cape||Shop 599 Upper Level, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City|
|Standard Bank Jubilee Mall||Hammanskraal, Gauteng||Shop 47 Jubilee Mall, c/o Jubilee Road D154 and Harry Gwala Road D2757|
|Standard Bank Kingsmead||Durban, KZN||Standard Bank Centre, 1 Kingsmead Way, Stamford Hill|
|Standard Bank Newton Park||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||1 Pickering Street, Newton Park|
|Standard Bank Promenade Mall||Cape Town, Western Cape||Road Shop 73-75 Promenade Mall Beacon Valley, c/o AZ Berman Road & Morgenster Road|