Pretoria – Since the launch of eHomeAffairs last week by President Jacob Zuma, 4088 citizens have made their online applications for IDs and passports.
The initiative, in partnership with the four major banks -- ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank -- allow South Africans to apply for documents in the comfort of their own home.
They can then visit their local banks to submit their photos and have their fingerprints processed for their applications. They will also be able to collect their IDs and passports at kiosks set up in the banks.
Of the 4088 applications, 140 were successfully concluded across the four banks.
Briefing the media on the applications, on Wednesday, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said on the first day, 229 applications were received, on the second day, 1687 applications were received, on the third day there was a slight drop as 189 applications were received, on the fourth day 162, on the fifth day 1001 applications and yesterday 730 applications were received.
Apleni said currently there are appointments booked until the end of April.
“The beauty of the system is that citizens who choose this facility do not have to queue in offices. Home Affairs would then be freed to attend speedily to other clients, thus confirming our promise that the days of the horror affairs are over.
“We trust that the new eHomeAffairs initiative will assist greatly to reduce long queues in front offices while accelerating the replacement of Green-barcoded ID books with Smart ID Cards,” he said.
The eHomeAffairs is hosted on the department’s website and provides a secure portal to complete the application process and make a booking to finalise the process at a particular bank branch.
Apleni said the department is currently engaging the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) to develop and engage a model for further rollout to other banks like Capitec and the African Bank.
“With better, faster and more secure services, people have more reasons to celebrate freedom.
“We are satisfied that the online system is functioning very well with clients appreciating its efficiency and the shortest time they have to spend in the banks for capturing of biometrics,” Apleni said.
He said although the department’s offices opens on a weekend, officials deployed at the banks do not work on Sundays.
“We are looking at extending services on Sundays,” he said.
To date, the online system has been rolled out to 11 bank branches, mostly in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape.
Banks were Home Affairs services can be accessed are at: Absa Lifestyle in Centurion, Absa Towers North, Absa Ghandi Square, FNB Lifestyle Centurion, FNB Menlyn, FNB Merchant Place, Nedbank Rivonia, Nedbank Roodepoort, Standard Bank Centurion, Standard Bank Killarney Rosebank and Standard Bank Canal Walk in the Western Cape.
Apleni said the department is currently engaged in the negotiations to extend services to other banks in other provinces.
“We need to service every South African. Our vision is that we want everybody to be able to apply online,” he said.
The department calls on those who experience challenges during the application process online not to contact the banks but should contact the department on its Toll Free number -- 0800 60 11 90. – SAnews.gov.za