The Department of Home Affairs says it is ready to pilot a project that will allow customers to walk into their nearest bank to apply for a smart ID card.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, will on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, launch the pilot project aimed at ensuring convenient access to the application of Smart ID cards.
The project was initially announced in February, and was expected to start earlier than the end of September.
Gigaba said in February that Standard Bank, Nedbank, and First National Bank had signed memorandum of understanding with the department.
The Department said on Tuesday (29 September), that Gigaba will be joined by Standard Bank CEO Ben Kruger and FNB CEO Jacques Celliers as well as senior management from the Department of Home Affairs.
It did not mention Nedbank, or Absa, despite the latter telling BusinessTech that it would be participating in the application process, in February.
“Absa will be participating in the roll-out of the smart ID cards and fully supports government initiatives such as these,” Absa said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Absa said: “Absa is at an advanced stage of negotiations with Government to agree on our participation to assist the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) with the roll-out of Smart ID Cards.”
Nedbank told BusinessTech that it aims to join the pilot project as of 1 November.
Capitec however, said it would not be involved in the application and delivery of smart ID cards.
During his Budget Vote speech, Minister Gigaba announced the intention to collaborate with major banks to provide an alternative channel to serve clients, thus expanding Home Affairs footprint and minimizing queues at front-line offices.
Further to this, the partnership seeks to facilitate efficient and secured ways of accessing services; accelerate the replacement of the green bar-coded ID book; and eradicate the old system of processing the Green ID book which currently still poses risks.
“About 38 million people are estimated to have ID books, while an estimated 1.2 million children per year turn 15. That is a huge load for the 480 department offices that provide various services to millions of citizens countrywide,” Gigaba said.