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Home Affairs embraces

The Department of Home Affairs is introducing cuttingedge technology

to modernise its operations, including “paperless” services.

This is the kind of department South Africans can look forward to, says Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

In an interview with PSM, he said the department’s plan to modernise – which includes moving from paper to offering services digitally – was at an advanced stage.

Minister Gigaba is passionate about the plan, which is part of the department’s turnaround strategy to improve service delivery and reduce long queues and slow processes.

The Minister said once the migration from a paper-based database to a mostly digital system was complete, members of the public would enjoy improved services

and that the department’s 403 offices nationwide would operate optimally and efficiently.

“The department launched a modernisation programme in terms of which we want to move towards being completely paperless.

“In that regard, there is a number of service innovations that we have introduced,

the most critical one being the live capture system when you apply for the smart ID card and passport.

“But that programme focuses both on the core infrastructure and core technology infrastructure of the department

as well as the front end where the services take place,” he explained.

During his State of the Nation Address,

President Jacob Zuma announced that citizens would soon be able to apply for their smart

ID cards at some banks – a move that would bring services closer to the people. Minister Gigaba said the initiative would be a pilot project.

“We should soon start with the process of cleaning up the National Population Register (NPR),

doing an audit, removing those people and names that ought not to be there and restoring the integrity of the NPR.”

He said the department would like all children to be registered for their birth certificates at the hospitals where they were born or within the first 30 days.

“So, over the next 12 months, we are going to be winding up the late registration of births process after more than seven years of running it so that we focus on registering births early.

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