One of the things the government is currently focusing on is the development of the new digital National Identity System (NIS). This is set to replace the current National Population Register and will become the “backbone” of all Home Affairs functions in the country.
How will the digital ID system work?
The system is expected to be in place by March 2024 and will “enable the security and reliability of civic and immigration status linked to identity and biometric data“. And so, the plan is that the NIS will act as a “single source” of information on all South Africans.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, the new system will “enable economic transformation, efficient service delivery and enhance the security of citizens and all known foreign nationals in South Africa”.
“The department is in the process of implementing a single integrated source of biographic and biometric information – to make digital service delivery a seamless reality. The current disparate civic and immigration systems will produce secure data that will feed into the NIS according to an identity management policy and an updated identification Act.
Under this system, all processes – the registration of births, marriages and deaths – will be digitised and secured,” the department said.
The department also added that, in the case of the successful implementation of the NIS, a “substantial reduction in fraudulent transactions” should be seen as well as more efficient e-government and e-commerce services.
Some elements to be phased in
Some key elements will be phased in through the new model and form part of the NIS.
These elements include:
- Birth, marriage and death certificates will be processed digitally
- Permits and visas will now be at a singel hub for adjudication
- Modified screening procedures will be used at high volume land ports of entry’s e-gates for pre-approved frequent travelers
“The implementation of the new model will eliminate historical challenges, including long queues and fraud.
“Digital transformation and continuous innovation will enable the DHA to become a provider of people-centric services and identity data verification for both government and private institutions.”