Home Affairs getting smarter

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Cape Town – Smart ID cards are planned to be available from First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank in May as part of a pilot project, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Earlier this year Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said major banks are planned to take applications for new smart card IDs.

Gigaba said the banks are expected to capture biometric data, photographs and electronic signatures from customers who apply for the smart cards.

This data will then compiled into an electronic package and sent to home affairs. Applicants can then collect their IDs at the banks. The South African Post Office (Sapo) is also planned to be part of the processing of smart IDs.

And Mpho Moloi, the department’s chief director for channel management, said systems are in place to implement the pilot project, according to a report by the South African Government News Agency.

“FNB and Standard bank have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding and have provided a site each and envisage to go on-line in May,” he said while appearing before  Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday.“We have already installed phone booths at the sites. We are testing the eChannel system to ensure that it can withstand the security requirements.

“We have conducted a risk analysis and we are seeking further legal advice on the security of the eChannel system,” he added.

The eChannel system is the department’s project to move services from paper to digital. This process further includes cleaning of the population register, according to the South African Government News Agency.

FNB and Standard Bank have provided sites where the pilot project will be rolled out. Moloi said that further agreements with Nedbank and ABSA are being finalised.Meanwhile, Home Affairs booths have reportedly been established at FNB and Standard Bank pilot sites.

The pilot project is planned to run from May to July 2015. An assessment of the pilot project will take place in August.

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