Gigaba launches Smart ID Card pilot partnership with banks

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, on Wednesday officially launched a pilot project for South Africans to submit smart ID applications at two of the country's biggest banks, FNB and Standard Bank, in Johannesburg. 

The project is a partnership with financial institutions aimed at ensuring convenient access to the application of Smart ID cards by locals at the respective banks.

Gigaba was joined by Standard Bank CEO Ben Kruger and FNB CEO Jacques Celliers as well as senior management from the Department of Home Affairs.

In May, during his Budget Vote speech, 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.

Late birth registrations

On Tuesday, Gigaba also called on officials to urge parents to register their new born babies within 30 days after birth because the late registration of births (LRB) process will be coming to an end soon.

The Minister, addressing the department’s National Stakeholder Summit in Boksburg, said the late registration of births would end on 31 December this year.

“After December 31st 2015 the late registration of birth will become extremely difficult. We will increase the exhaustive checks, investigation and verification that we do on each LRB application.

“We need your help to spread the word that LRB is coming to an end, and those few genuine South Africans who have not had their births registered, should do so before December 31st to save themselves any difficulty,” said Minister Gigaba.

He explained that the department wanted to end the common practice of late registration of birth which was a loophole to the National Population Register.

“The LRB was necessary early in our democracy because of the huge backlog in civic registration. Thanks to the National Population Registration campaign led by our department, and supported by our valued stakeholder forums, the vast majority of South Africans have now had their births and identities registered,” he said.

The late registration of birth had become an opportunity for non-South Africans to fraudulently attempt to obtain South African citizenship, aided by “unscrupulous” South Africans.

He said the best way to safeguard the identity and status of every citizen and ensure an accurate National Population Register was to register the birth of every child as early as possible.

“This is why the law now requires that the birth of every child be registered within 30 days. We have made great strides in entrenching early registration of birth, with most births now registered early, up from less than half of births registered early several years ago.”

He said Home Affairs officials will visit 389 health facilities around the country to assist parents in obtaining an unabridged birth certificate for their children before leaving the hospital.

All parents need to do is bring their IDs with them to the hospital, and a name for the baby.

“It is for the good of your child, and ensures his/her identity, citizenship status and rights are protected. It is also the law,” Minister Gigaba added.

– additional reporting SAnews.gov.za