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Gigaba confident Home Affairs will be 'fully' digital in future

South Africa currently has 900 million paper records that have to be processed manually, which is time consuming.

A Department of Home Affairs office. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is confident his department will be fully digital in a few years.

Gigaba briefed the media on his department's budget on Wednesday, which had a big focus on modernisation and going digital.

The minister has also launched a new automated biometric identification system (Abis) which is at the cutting edge of building a new digital national identification system.

Digital processing of citizenship, birth, marriage and death registration is also on the cards as part of the department’s modernisation programme.

South Africa currently has 900 million paper records that have to be processed manually, which is time consuming.

Gigaba says his department has only managed to digitise nine million, or just 1%, of these paper records.

“We intend going fully digital in future and we’re forging ahead with great effort toward that objective.”

Gigaba says many services in his department take long because of having to go through them manually. He adds the modernisation programme is moving full steam ahead and the future may come sooner than expected.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)