Home Affairs working hard to root out corruption

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pretoria – Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says she has instructed her officials to work harder to root out corruption in the department.

Speaking at a New Age Breakfast Briefing held in Johannesburg this morning, Pandor said her aim was to make Home Affairs “fraud free”.

She also called on people to distance themselves from engaging in marriages of convenience. She advised those who are approached to engage in such marriages to report the matter to the police.

She also advised citizens to regularly check their marital status at their nearest Home Affairs offices or on the department’s website.

Smart ID card

With regard to the new Smart ID card, Pandor said her department has increased the number of offices, which will roll out the new IDs, to 28.

She assured South Africans that criminals will not be able to tamper with the smart IDs.

Pandor said the department aims to process 100 000 smart ID cards by March this year.

Roll-out to the general public will start with first-time identity document applicants and senior citizens.

Thereafter, other South Africans will be invited in stages, according to their dates of birth. She appealed to members of the public to wait to be called to apply for the new smart ID card.

“Pensioners will apply for the new IDs free of charge,” she said, adding that first time applicants will also not be charged.

South Africans, who will be replacing their current green ID books, will pay R140 to get the smart ID card.

The new smart ID card will have a microchip, which will house the necessary biometric data, and the information on the chip will be laser-engraved to prevent tampering.

With regard to change of addresses, Pandor also appealed to members of the public to inform the department when changing their residential addresses.

The first smart ID cards were handed over to eminent South Africans on 18 July 2013.

The rollout of the smart ID cards is expected to take at least eight years to complete.

The new ID has a life span of at least 10 years. – SAnews.gov.za