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SA Home Affairs to Refocus on Tech Initiatives for 2020

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa is set to work on a number of new tech-focused initiatives over the oncoming financial year, reports My Broadband looking at the National Treasury’s estimates of national expenditure in 2020.

At the very top of the hierarchy of expenditures is the continued rollout of smart ID cards to all eligible people across the country. Nine million cards are expected to be issued by the department over the medium-term.

“To improve its reach and accessibility, over the period ahead, the department plans to expand its public‐private partnership with the banking sector to provide services at more branches, and with other service providers such as the South African Post Office,” Treasury says.

Apart from this, Home Affairs hopes to continue the modernisation of its IT programme to allow for higher efficiencies and predictability in business processes and products.

“The programme has enabled the department to automate its business processes that involve capturing information and images, digitising supporting documents, and issuing identity documents and passports by means of the paperless live capture system.”

The document outlines a few other initiatives, including:

  • A commitment to register all births within 30 days, as required by law – in line with the government’s priority to provide adequate services to all citizens.
  • The removal of unnecessary barriers and requirements in the processing of permits and visas in order to promote business and leisure tourism and economic development. This, plus the simplification of the visa processing, whereby selected low-risk countries can benefit from visa waivers and relaxed conditions.
  • The roll-out of an e-visa system.
  • And finally, the implementation of a passenger name record system as well as an advance passenger processing system. These will be in order to identify unknown threats based on passenger profiles and identify known suspects, respectively.

Home Affairs is also expected to role out more Smart ID and Passport facilities to 19 new bank branches in 2020.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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