Citizens reminded to collect IDs ahead of elections

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pretoria – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday reminded South Africans, who have applied for their IDs, to collect them so they can register to vote in this year’s local government elections.

The Minister said there are more than 200 000 uncollected IDs. Chairing the Governance and Administration Cluster briefing in Cape Town, Minister Gigaba encouraged all eligible young people to register to vote in the forthcoming local elections.

The first voter registration drive will be on the weekend of 5 – 6 March.

“We urge all young and first-time voters to register to vote. It is by voting that citizens select the public representatives that best serve their interests.

“South Africans, who do not have IDs, are urged to apply now at their nearest Home Affairs offices and those that have already applied are requested to collect them,” Minister Gigaba said.

All Home Affairs offices will be open from 08:00 to 17:00 on 5 and 6 March to enable those who do not have IDs to apply for them.

“Our officials are ready to deliver services to those who require IDs and temporary identification certificates,” he said.

Temporary identification certificates will be made available on the spot. Both the green bar-coded IDs and Smart ID Cards will be accepted as legal forms of identity for the purposes of voter registration and voting.

Minister Gigaba has instructed his department to relax the policy of the destruction of uncollected IDs and Smart ID Cards for the period covering voter registration and local government elections.

“Our policy states that documents that are uncollected for a period of six months should be returned to head office, where they are kept for a further six months. Should the documents not be collected after 12 months, they are destroyed,” he said.

The Minister used the occasion to announce that his department will upgrade its Live Capture System from 26 - 28 February 2016 to introduce the eChannel EFT payment function at its 142 offices and banks equipped with the system.

Due to the upgrades, certain services will be disrupted during that period. As a result, these offices will stop taking applications using the Live Capture System at 14:00 on Friday, 26 February.

Last year, the department launched a pilot project with three major financial institutions –First National Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank to enable people to apply for their IDs at the banks.

“We have since signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ABSA, bringing the total of major banks participating in the pilot to four,” the Minister said.

Each of the banks have provided the department with three sites, making it 12 sites in total, for piloting the eChannel module of the Live Capture System. –