Home Affairs to undergo system upgrades

2015-11-26 06:00

THE Home Affairs offices in Port Shepstone will close from 27 November to 2 December as it upgrades its live capture facilities in order to hasten the application process for Smart ID and passports.

During this period the offices will be unable to deal with any queries relating to Smart ID and passports.

About 140 other offices will also close for upgrades.

New hardware and software will be installed during the closure, which will modernise the department and move it towards a paperless operating system. Booths will be installed where people can have their fingerprints and photos captured, cutting queuing time.

The director-general of the Department of Home Affairs shared this information at a meeting in Johannesburg recently.

The upgrade includes the introduction of an online booking system, enabling citizens to apply for documents online, as well as a re-enrolment process that rendered the capturing of fingerprints within a specified period or reapplication unnecessary.

“Our offices have already put up public notices to announce the system upgrade and the affected services to clients,” said Home Affairs director­-general, Mkuseli Apleni.

“These innovations should take us closer to creating a paperless environment, with all the benefits of e-government and improved service delivery,” said Apleni. The last upgrade was in April.

Apleni asked that individuals who had applied for new Smart IDs and passports to collect their documents, saying that 195 825 Smart ID cards, 75 517 green bar-coded ID books and 51 946 passports remained unclaimed.

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