South Africa adopts new identification system – how it will work

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The government is in the process of developing the new National Identity System (NIS), which will replace the current National Population Register and become the backbone of all home affairs functions in South Africa.

The system, which is expected to be operational by March 2024, will enable the security and reliability of civic and immigration statuses related to identity and biometric data. In this way, the SNI will effectively act as a single source of information on all South Africans.

This will enable economic transformation, efficient service delivery and improve the security of citizens and all known foreign nationals in South Africa, the Home Office said.

“The ministry is implementing a single, integrated source of biographical and biometric information – to make digital service delivery a seamless reality. Today’s disparate civic and immigration systems will produce secure data that will feed into the IRS in accordance with an Identity Management Policy and updated Identification Law.

Under this system, all processes – birth, marriage and death registration – will be digitized and secure, he said.

He added that the successful implementation of the IRS will lead to a substantial reduction in fraudulent transactions and enable efficient e-commerce and administration services.

A 10 year upgrade

The new national identity system is part of a larger modernization program that the Home Office is undertaking over a 10-year period until 2028/2029.

“The digital transformation will be made possible by robust integrated back-end systems and modern network infrastructure, which in turn will enable all front-end DHA processes and alignment with all related government systems,” he said. .

Some of the key elements that will be phased in in the new model and be part of the SNI include:

  • Digital processes for issuing birth, marriage and death certificates;
  • Use of modified screening procedures at electronic gates at high volume land entry points for pre-approved frequent travelers;
  • A single hub for issuing permits and visas.

Notably, all of these services will be accessible through a number of channels involving partners, such as public and private health systems for birth and death registration, the department said.

“Implementing the new model will eliminate historic challenges, including long queues and fraud.

“Digital transformation and continuous innovation will enable DHA to become a provider of people-centric services and identity verification for government and private institutions. “


To read: Two big changes planned for South Africa in 2022: Ramaphosa

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