The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has gotten serious about its mission to empower South Africans through SmartIDs, as well as the issuing of Green Mambas as SA's passport is affectionately known.
From extending its operational hours during peak periods to launching new partnership branches with South Africa's main banks - the DHA's digital portal eHomeAffairs allows locals to fast track their applications by kick-starting it at home first and then completing the application and collecting it at the bank of their preference.
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Tshiwela Mhlantla, Managing Executive for ABSA says, “The pilot, which involves the issuing of new and replacement SmartID cards at some bank branches across the industry, has been initiated by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and were introduced at Absa branches in 2018.
“To date these services, which are managed by the DHA but housed by Absa, have been introduced at Hennopspark (Centurion Lifestyle), Towers North (Johannesburg) and Sandton City (Johannesburg). The pilot went live at our Greenacres branch in Port Elizabeth in December 2019.
"Customers are embracing the service. Although only four branches are currently operational, the branches process roughly 1 000 smart card applications per month and around 1 200 passport applications on average," says Mhlantla.
"Currently, the DHA IT equipment installation is in progress at ten branches and should be completed during the course of 2020."
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ABSA Existing branches:
- Hennopspark, Centurion
- Towers North, Johannesburg
- Sandton City, Johannesburg
- Greenacres, Port Elizabeth
New branches 'to be completed during the course of 2020':
- Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg
- Menlyn Maine, Johannesburg
- Key West, Krugersdorp
- Claremont, Cape Town
- Stellenbosch, Western Cape
- Waterfall Mall, Rustenburg
- Woodlands, Pretoria
- Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal
- Fourways Mall, Johannesburg
- Randburg, Gauteng
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FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Lee-Anne van Zyl, First National Bank Points of Presence CEO confirmed the bank plans to extend the Smart IDs and Passports service to more branches over the next 12 months.
The bank currently has five existing branches and continues to work with the DHA to explore making the service available in all major Provincial Hub’s across South Africa.
The details of which additional branches will offer the service will be announced in due course, says Van Zyl.
"To date, we have issued over 200 000 Smart ID cards and passports since the inception of the partnership with the Department. We believe that the consistent expansion of this essential service will provide more customers with convenience by avoiding long queues when applying for their Smart ID’s and Passports."
FNB Existing branches
- Portside, Cape Town
- Centurion Lifestyle, Pretoria
- Lynnwood, Pretoria
- Merchant Place, Sandton
- Burgersfort, Limpopo
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Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom confirmed the bank will open three more branches by the end of March, offering SmartID and Passport services.
"We are opening additional pilot eHome Affairs Offices, which will process the online applications for Smart Cards and Passports only. No other Home Affairs services will be provided.
"Our customers welcome the Smart ID and Passport services offered. We have also recently enhanced our payment system to cater for 3rd party payment from a Standard Bank account.
STD New branches:
- Port Elizabeth
- Promenade Mall
STD Existing Branches
- Kingsmead, Durban
- Jubilee Mall, Hammanskraal, North West
- Killarney Mall Johannesburg
- 5 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg
- Centurion Branch, Pretoria
- Century City in Canal Walk, Western Cape
SEE: How SA's passport power changed in a decade: The best and worst passports for 2020
Nedbank confirmed it will also extend eHome Affairs services to another four branches in 2020.
“Service at Nedbank St George’s Mall, Rustenburg Square, Nedbank Durban North, and Nedbank North Cape Mall is planned to go live between February and June 2020. Staff have been identified for Rustenburg Square and Durban North by DHA and will go live in February. St Georges Mall is currently scheduled to go live in March," says Danielle Square, Nedbank Communications Manager.
Square confirmed the service was particularly popular with first-time ID applicants and passport seekers.
“Usage numbers do vary depending on whether it is during a school holiday period or not. Numbers vary between 30 and 70 applications per day per site.”
- Nedbank Durban North, Durban
- Nedbank North Cape Mall, Kimberley
- Nedbank Rustenburg Square, Rustenburg
- Nedbank St George’s Mall, Cape Town
- Nedbank Arcadia, Pretoria
- Nedbank Lakeview Campus, Johannesburg
- Nedbank Nelspruit Crossing, Nelspruit
- Nedbank Sandown, Johannesburg
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