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South Africa: The Department of Home Affairs Modernisation 'On Track'
Source: ITWeb News
Source Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 29, 2014

The department has a R1.1 billion budget for this year to roll out its modernisation project, and has already spent around R1.4 billion. The plan aims to provide an integrated IT platform to decrease the turnaround time for issuing identity documents; birth, death and marriage certificates; passports and visas, among other documents.


It is designed to automate the end-to-end business processes, and supports transactional processing. It simultaneously provides information that includes photographs, fingerprints, signatures, voice recordings, demographic information and scanned supporting documents.


Home Affairs has opened 40 offices that have live-capture functionality, against a target of 70 for the full year.


Target lowered


However, it has dropped its target of issuing three million smart cards this year down to 1.6 million. The smart ID programme kicked off last May, when Altech Card Solutions won the R40 million contract to provide the Government Printing Works with card personalisation equipment.


Gemalto Southern Africa has a deal, estimated to be worth R199 million, to supply pre-printed polycarbonate cards, containing a contactless microchip. Moving to the new system will cost South Africans billions, as each identity book will need to be swapped for a card at a cost to individuals of around R140. Home affairs will phase in this process, based on birth months.


Over the course of the rest of the year, the department will spend R141.8 million on upgrading offices that will roll out the smart cards, while R458.2 million will be spent on producing and issuing smart cards.


Of the targets the department had to meet, it exceeded its aim of issuing 95% of machine-readable passports in 24 days, but missed the target for passports issued in 13 days. Some 95.7% of first issue ID documents are issued in 54 days, while 98.2% of second issue ID documents are issued in 47 working days.


Home affairs also missed its target when it comes to issuing refugee travel documents in 90 days, by mid-year, because of delays in sending applications to head office from provinces, and the temporary shutdown of the production facility.

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