'E-channel project will radically change your Home Affairs experience'

People will now be able to apply online for IDs and passports online.

Picture: iStock

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the department's e-Channel pilot project partnership with banks will radically change the way citizens engage with the department.

President Jacob Zuma officially launched the project in Midrand today.

People will now be able to apply online for IDs and passports, and visit their local banks to give photos and fingerprints to be processed.

The pilot project is being run in Gauteng and limited branches in Cape Town.

Minister Malusi Gigaba says this project is part of efforts to make access to the department easier.

"A Home Affairs Department that plays a role by not only offering menial services but in the economy, security, governance, administration and service delivery."

Zuma says the partnership will enhance government's reach and quality of services.

"With the four bank participating, it is possible to reach over 20 million clients with improved queue management and enhanced client experience."

Zuma adds one of government's main challenge to distributing the new smart ID cards is the limited number of Home Affairs offices.

"We have 407 Home Affairs offices that are not designed for this capacity. The main objective is to broaden the centres at which people can apply for smart ID cards and passports."

The president adds that the project marks a significant improvement in service delivery.

"[This is] a wonderful project that will see people applying for their identity documents at their banking institutions. This service is one step further in the ongoing quest to make the services provided by the Department of Home Affairs accessible to all our people."

The service is initially only available to 30-35-year-olds.

LISTEN: Skip the queue & get your Smart ID online...