Speaking notes for weekly media briefing by Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni
3 May 2012
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, let me express our appreciation that once more you have taken time out of your busy schedules to join us for our weekly media briefing.
Condolences to the Sicelo Shiceka Family
Firstly, the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma joins the government and indeed the people of our country in extending her deepest condolences to the family of the late former Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka who passed away early this week.
His death is not only a loss to his family but indeed to the rest of the country which had expected him to continue to play a role in national efforts to create a better life for all. Their grief is shared by many within our communities. During these difficult time, our thoughts and prayers reach out to all members of his immediate family, friends and colleagues.
Weekly media briefing
Today, we would like to brief you on the status of duplicate IDs, an update on the ID Smart Card Project, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting on Public Safety and Security to be hosted by South Africa next week, as well as a briefing on traveller volumes during the recent long weekend.
Status of duplicate IDs
Members of the media would know that the Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the Department’s Budget Vote, last week noted that, “we recognise that the issue of duplicate IDs continue to cause grief to our people. These make it impossible for citizens to engage in business, financial and economic transactions, further their educational studies, access social grants and other government services. We share in their pain and commit ourselves to ensuring we can speedily address their challenges.”
Today we are pleased to announce that, in response to the plight of those affected in this regard, we have begun a process that must necessarily lead to the department being able to address the plight of these affected South Africans.
The process includes:
- The publication today, Thursday 3 May, on our website (http://www.dha.gov.za/) of the names of twenty nine thousand (29 000) people affected by duplicate ID’s to approach their nearest Home Affairs offices to enable the department to address their plight.
- Inviting South Africans to check their status on our sms track and trace service. An SMS can be sent to 32551 with the following information: D (for duplicate) followed by your ID number. If you are part of the 29 000 affected persons (multiple people sharing one ID number), you will be asked to approach your nearest Home Affairs office for assistance.
- The publication, effective Tuesday 8 May 2012, of all those affected in major print media across the country, initially including the Sowetan, The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Argus, The New Age, Daily Dispatch, The Herald, Die Burger, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Illanga, Volksblad, the Witness, the Citizen and Cape Times. Due to security reasons the publication will include only the name, birth date and area of last known residence.
- The department will be increasing dedicated capacity of officials within the Civics Branch, charged with resolving these issues so that these cases can be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
- We will as far as possible attempt to secure the mobile and landline details of those affected to enable the department to utilise modern technology to contact them directly with a view to mobilising them to approach the nearest Home Affairs offices for assistance.
- With a view to rendering quality, caring services, Home Affairs offices will have dedicated counters to assist affected persons.
This is the first phase of the campaign which will target the 29 000 people where two or more people share one ID number. The second phase will focus on the further 83 000 affected persons where a single person has multiple ID numbers.
An update on the ID Smart Card Project
Members of the media would know that Minister Dlamini Zuma announced further in Parliament, that the department had commenced with the first phase of its Smart Card ID Pilot.
This introduction of a new Smart ID card must be viewed within the context of national efforts to consolidate the restoration of our peoples identity, citizenship and indeed their dignity which was denied for centuries by successive racist regimes.
We are currently in the first phase of our pilot that will soon witness Minister Dlamini Zuma extending to a sample size of 2 000 South Africans of all races and gender and possible involvement of stalwarts of the struggle against the pass laws.
The pilot is being conducted so we are able to test our systems, which includes our hardware and software to be used in the production of these Smart Cards. It will also enable government to procure the required machinery to produce the volume of cards that will be required so that we eventually completely phase out the current green bar-coded ID.
Once all systems are ready for the production of the Smart ID Card, it is envisaged by Minister Dlamini Zuma, that all applications for ID’s will from then onwards be treated a s applications for Smart ID Cards. It is at this point that Minister Dlamini Zuma will promulgate the costs of the Smart ID card.
We however, reiterate the comments by Minister Dlamini Zuma when announcing the commencement of the pilot project in Parliament that, the first issue of the smart card will be free while any other re-issue will have a cost implication for the applicant.
Smart ID Card, watch it, it is coming
An update on traveller volumes during the recent long weekend
As part of our mandate to ensure effective and efficient quality services at all ports of entry- air, sea and land ports- the following traveller volumes were recorded on our Movement Control and Advanced Passenger Processing Systems during the week of Thursday 26 April to Tuesday 2 May 2012, co-inciting with Freedom Day and May Day 2012.
In this regard, a total number of seven hundred and seventy four thousand, four hundred and twenty four (774 424) incoming and outgoing traveller movements were recorded during this period. This included three hundred and ninety seven, eight hundred and eighty two (397 882) arrivals and three hundred and sixty four, and sixty eight (364 068) departures.
These figures include the arrival of one hundred and twenty three thousand, two hundred and seventy four (123 274) South Africans and two hundred and seventy four, six hundred and eight (274 608) foreign nationals as well as the departure of one hundred and twenty, four hundred and sixty three (120 463) South Africans and two hundred and forty three, six hundred and five (243 605) foreign nationals.
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
3 May 2012
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