Gigaba: New passport system will be 'seamless'

SA passports will now be issued through banks, starting with Nedbank next week.

FILE: South African passport. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs says a pilot project that will see the department issue passports through national banks is an 'easy and seamless effort'.

The department has partnered with Nedbank on an initiative that will allow its clients an opportunity to apply for the document online.

The new automated system comes nearly two months after its smart ID card process.

Over 1,800 cards have been issued to bank employees since the start of August.

Minister Malusi Gigaba explains, "You start the application at home and then you would go into the bank to take your photographs and do an automated fingerprint and automated signature. As soon as that application is completed it is sent electronically to government for printing."

He says the system is completely centralised.

"The beauty of the ID card and passport is that they are both produced in South Africa; of course we have secured the technology abroad but it's owned by the State all together."

The roll-out starts with the Nedbank branch in Sandton next week, and is expected to be carried out at other banks by 2016.

Listen: Pilot project will see banks issuing passports.