6 things you can expect from South Africa’s updated identity system

Government is currently working on an updated national identification system with the ultimate goal of building a ‘future-fit’ Home Affairs.

Speaking at an ID4Africa conference on Tuesday (18 June), International Relations and Cooperation minister Naledi Pandor said that the system will provide a single source of information about all clients, using both biographic and biometric technologies.

“The new national identity system South Africa seeks to build will serve as a master source for civics and immigration management,” she said.

“The modernisation of South Africa’s Home Affairs, when fully and successfully implemented, will re-engineer and automate most of the key processes of the department and yield a significantly enhanced national identification system, and a credible national population register.”

Some of the key elements of the system include:

  • Records of persons throughout their lifespan;
  • Birth, marriage and death records of residents (citizens, permanent residents, asylum seekers and refugees);
  • All persons entering the country will have their biometrics captured during the visa application process or at the point of entry;
  • Processing and storing of asylum seekers and refugees’ applications;
  • Records of visitors who enter and leave the country;
  • Records of illegal persons in the country.

Pandor also promised that the new system will be more customer-centric and will be a secure environment.

“With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the ultimate goal is to utilize technology in bringing government services closer to the people, where they live,” she said.


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6 things you can expect from South Africa’s updated identity system