On the 18th July 2013, Home Affairs began its project to replace green bar-coded Identity Documents (ID) with new digitised smart ID cards, that have better security features and are difficult to forge.

Since the inception of digitising smart ID cards, Home Affairs has issued over 13 million of them. This is according to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, who addressed the National Assembly during his budget vote speech earlier this week.

SA News reports that Nzuza was outlining the progress made in digitising services at the department in a bid to improve service delivery.

“Since we started digitizing our applications process, we have issued over 13 million smart ID cards and we continue setting tight deadlines to deliver on this critical task of replacing old, insecure green bar-coded ID books,” explained Nzuza.

The Deputy Minister added that the improvements in the turnaround times of issuing smart ID cards and modernised passports was due to the rolling out of live capture system. It was stated that the department now issues smart ID cards within a week, and issuing of passport within 13 working days.

“This is an improvement compared with the previous waiting period of six months for an ID and four months for a passport. However, we acknowledge that there are serious blockages in terms of service quality at offices, as evidence in our interactions with citizens while visiting various front offices since we assumed office,” added Nzuza.

Furthermore SA News said that the department priority is to intensify the fight on long ques and reduce long waiting periods at front offices.

“We urge our citizens who have applied for smart IDs to come and collect them,” concluded Nzuza.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay | Source – SA News]