Minister Siyabonga Cwele: Opening of the Ndwedwe modernised Home Affairs office

28 Mar 2019

Speech delivered by Home Affairs Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele at the opening of the Ndwedwe modernised Home Affairs office

MEC Sihle Zikalala, representing the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN Government;
Chairperson of the iLembe Traditional Council Inkosi N Bhengu;
iLembe District Councillor, Cllr S Maphumulo;
Ndwedwe Mayor Cllr Cllr NV Chili;
Ndwedwe Speaker Cllr GK Ngidi;
Ndwedwe Deputy Mayor Cllr Blose;
Councillors and other political leaders;
Members of the media;
Sanibonani Mphakathi waseNdwedwe namaphethelo ngaphansi kwesifunda iLembe.

Ngithanda ukuqala ngokudlulisa amazwi enduduzo kumntwana wakwa PHINDANGENE nomndeni wakwa Buthelezi ovelelwe yifu elimnyama ngokushiywa ngu Ndlunkulu uThandekile Irene Buthelezi ngomsombuluko emuva kokugula isikhathi eside. Kuzihlobo neqembu le IFP sithi anilahlekelwe nodwa kodwa nesizwe sonke ngokuhamba kuka mama ebeyinsika yesizwe. Akwehlanga lenghlanga Shenge, Sokwalisa.

Umntwana wakwa PHINDANGENE waba ungqogqoshe walomnyango wezangaphakathi (Home Afairs) esilethe inthuthuko ngawo namuhla eNdwedwe. EPhalamende sijwayele ihlaya lokuthi kunoNqonqoshe ababili bonyango; u Shenge no Cwele.

In August 2015 we were here with President Ramaphosa for a youth expo engagegement.

Kuyinjabulo nentokozo enkulu kimi ukuba nani namuhla kulomphakathi wase Ndwedwe ukuzovula ihovisi lomnyango eliyisimanjenje.  Loku kuyisiqiniseko sokuthi Uhulumeni ka ANC uletha izinsiza kubo bonke abantu emadolobheni nasemakhaya.  Sibonga ukubambisana neProvince, nemikhandlu yase iLembe naseNdwedwe kanye nobaholi bethu bendabuko.

Namuhla yilanga elikhulu ngoba sivula ihovisi elinobuchwepheshe besimanje manje. Lokhu kukhombisa khona ukuthi uHulumeni akakhethi, ulethatha izintsiza la abantu bekhona. Wonke umuntu waseNingizimu Afrika kumele athole izintsiza ngendlela efanelekile nenesizotha.

Today we are here to say to you. Your modern Home Affairs office is close to you. You no longer have to spend a lot of money traveling to town to access enabling documents such as Smart IDs and passports. You can easily access them right here where you live. The old office we are replacing did not have the capability to process these applications.

We expect that the office will also serve people from as far as Verulam, Ballito, Tongaat and Umhlanga.

Earlier today I had the honour of issuing Smart ID cards to your traditional leader, Induna Makhehla  Hlophe and Gogo Nomhayizo Shozi, who turns 101 on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Gogo and we wish you many more happy years. Mthokozisi Dube, who is living with a disability, a young teacher born in 1994, Nonkanyiso Magwaza had a green ID book and applied for a Smart ID card and first time applicant Nqobani Ngcobo, who was born in 2003, all received their Smart ID cards today. SIYASHESHE KULESIKHATHI SIKA THUMA MINA.

All these people applied last week and now they are proud owners of the more secure and modern Smart IDs.

Community of Ndwedwe, come to apply and collect your Smart ID at your new office. It is important to apply and collect your IDs. It doesn’t take too long to receive a Smart ID as you can see with the case of today’s recipients. We as the Department have embraced the spirit of THUMA MINA in this era of hope and New Dawn under the leadership of his Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa.

We encourage you to come out in your numbers to go and vote on the 8th May 2019. If you are registered to vote and are appearing on the Voters’ Roll, you will be able to vote for the party of your choice with your new Smart ID. No more book but smart cards. If you lost your cards come and apply for a Temporary Identity Certificate.

Bonke laba bantu bafake izicelo zoba zomazisi ngesonto eledlule manje kulelisonto sebengabanikazi bomazisi bamakhadi abasha abaphephile, smart cards. Mphakathi waseNdwedwe, wozani nizofaka izicelo niphinde nilande omazisi benu kuleliHhovisi lenu elisha. Kubalulekile ukufaka isicelo uphinde ulande umazisi wakho. Akuthathi isikhathi eside ulindele ukubuya komazisi wakho njengoba nibona ubufakazi namuhla ngalaba esebephumelele. Uma ubhalisele ukuvota futhi negama lakho likhona ohlwini lwabazovota, uyokwazi ukuvotela iqembu lakho olikhethe wena ngawo lomazisi omusha oyikhadi.

If you want to visit a neighbouring country or you have established new relationships with a person from another country, come to the Ndwedwe Home Affairs to apply for a passport. It takes on average 13 working days to apply and receive your passport. The office we opened today is yours. Use it and also protect it.

Seselapho kwezama passports, nezokuhambela amanye  amazwe; njengohulumeni sikhathazekile ngemibiko yodlame olubhekiswe kwabokufika. Sithi akubekhona ukubambisana nokuhlalisana kahle njengo Phakathi nabezizwe emiphakathini yethu. Sithi nabazizwe bamukelekile ukuza eNingizimu Afrika uma belandela imigudu yomthetho nemininingwane. Asibafuni abafohlayo nabangangeni ngesango. Asibafuni abangabakhuthuzi nezigebengu kodwa bonke abahlonipha imithetho yezwe bamukelekile. Asiphinde sikhuze udlame sikhuthaze ukuthula emiphakathini yonke eNingizimu Afrika. Sicela nabaqashi bayeke ukuxabanisa ngokungalandeli ubulungiswa uma beqasha abezizwe

As the ANC government in general and Department of Home Affairs in particular, we are focused on delivering services to people where they live because the Constitution precludes the State from unfairly discriminating against any citizen, including discrimination on the basis of social origin.

Given this challenge, we are looking at various ways of expanding access to our services. This is crucial because we only have 411 offices across the country and 77 of these are in KwaZulu-Natal.

 In total, there are 192 modernised offices country wide. KZN has 28 modernised office and two of those are here at the iLembe District Municipality.

While we are continuing to modernise our offices, we also need to complement this by finding creative and modern ways of delivering to all the citizens.

In this regard, we have pursued the path to partnerships. We are pushing for partnerships with Municipalities, councillors, MPs, traditional leaders, religious leaders and broader society.

We have very progressive partnerships with other government institutions, provinces, municipalities and other stakeholders such as banks. These networks gives us the ability to services more people than we could without them. I would like to thank all our partners who have made it possible for us to serve more people.

Only yesterday I signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mayor Cllr Ms Zandile Gumede of the City of eThekwini. The MoU formalises the partnership between the Department and the City to strengthen existing ties for the next three years. The City is making available volunteers to the Department to help with the following services;

  • Assist departmental officials in taking applications for identity documents
  • Assist departmental officials in the distribution of list of uncollected identity documents
  • Assist the public in understanding the objectives and goals of the DHA
  • Assist the public in the completion of the relevant application forms
  • Assist and in participate in completing Late Registration of Birth application forms
  • Perform any other functions that may be deemed necessary to promote DHA priority programmes

In return we train these volunteers and improve their employability.

Such partnerships help us to reduce the queues at our offices and assist more people. They also give our volunteers valuable work experience and prepare them for the world of work.

I appeal to all the councillors who are present here to look at how we can bring a partnership similar to the MoU with eThekwini to the iLembe District.

Your local leaders have told me that there are numerous people in Ndwedwe who do not have identity documents for various historical reasons. This is concerning because it means that we have South Africans who are unable to access government services. I appeal to all of those people to come to the office to apply for Late Registration of Birth. You need to come with a record of your registration from the first primary school you attended and also your parent, who must bring their ID. If circumstances prevented you from attending school, come with your parent and their ID and evidence of when you were born. After this, you will be invited to come for an interview which will ascertain the veracity of your information and evidence.

We also have a partnership with the Department of Health to ensure that children born at health facilities across the country are all registered. The law requires that the parents of the child register the birth within the first 30 days. Through this partnership, we are able to register births and issue Birth Certificates by the time the parents leave the hospital with their child. There are Home Affairs offices in 391 health facilities across the country. KwaZulu-Natal Province has 52 of such offices. Our two office at health facilities in the iLembe District are at Montebello and Untunjambili hospitals.

When the birth of a South African is registered that child’s name and birth date is linked to an identity number and a record is created on the National Population Register (NPR). This gives the child the identity of a South African citizen, with all the Constitutional rights and obligations that go with this status.  Protecting the NPR means protecting your identity and your birth right. The Department has thus taken a decision that for South Africans there should be one entry point into our population register, at birth. The law demands that parents register their new born babies within 30 days of birth. Once a child has a birth certificate, he or she can be issued with a passport and access services offered by other departments, such as health, education and social development.

When the time comes to apply for an Identity Document, at age 16, the child will need a birth certificate as a requirement.Nqobani Ngcobo can tell other 16 year olds how he did it.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which forces us to look at new ways of doing things, the department realised that in order to bring about improved services and reduction of fraudulent activities it must utilize technology to bring government and services to the people wherever they happen to live.  Hence the need to modernize the department’s information technology infrastructure came as a result of the department being highly administrative and most services being paper-based which resulted in the NPR being contaminated by illegal/false records of citizens and in some cases genuine human errors due to its laborious and un-automated processes.

The Department therefore embarked on a modernisation drive wherein it set out to convert its offices from a paper based to a digitized environment. This implied automation of all business processes involving capturing of all information, images, supporting documents, standardised and control business processes which will create a more professional, efficient and effective service environment. With the modernisation came the launch of the Smart Identity Card in 2013, which replaces the “Green Barcoded” Identity book. The Smart Identity Card contains highly sophisticated security features which are virtually impossible to forge and contributes to the continued drive to combat identity fraud and theft.  The newly designed smarted card has a lot of benefits. These include:

  • Improve turnaround times for services, increase accountability;
  • Eliminate manual and tedious business processes;
  • Ensure collection of acceptable fingerprints and photo quality at office of application;
  • Improve Overall Security of our services;
  • Improve integrity through the enforcement of business rules;
  • Improve the client’s experience through our offices (front offices overhaul);
  • Eradicate Identity theft;
  • Provide an automated end to end Civics document production process;
  • Clean-up the National Population Register (NPR); 
  • Increase the credibility and reputation of the Department’s service offerings and the NPR.

It is important to point out that there are currently 38 million Green Barcoded ID Books issued by the Department to citizens and of the 38 million, 10 million have been replaced over the past six years.

The modernisation programme brought about improved services and reduction of fraudulent activities. It made it possible for the department to introduce other modes of accessing its services, i.e. launching of the e-Home Affairs platform which allows citizens to apply for Smart Identity Cards as well as passports from the comfort of their homes. 

The Department also entered into a partnership agreement with four major commercial banks namely First National Bank, Standard Bank, Nedbank and ABSA. This partnership was launched on the 7 April 2016 and piloted to 14 bank branches in Gauteng and the Western Cape. The partnership allows for applicants to lodge applications via the e-Home Affairs channel as well as make payment on-line and thereafter visit either of these banks or any of Home Affairs modernised offices to finalize the application by submitting their biometrics.

This contributes largely in increased accessibility whilst reducing the time clients have to spend in our offices.  Currently, the Department is in engagements with the Banking Association of South Africa in an effort to further roll out its services to more bank branches and thus improving its footprint. Recently the department embarked on a pilot for automation of Birth, Death and Marriage registration.

Before I finish, I just need to address one other issue. The issue of undocumented foreign nationals. The province shares borders with three neighbouring countries. As a country, we welcome foreign nationals. They must come through the ports of entry and be properly documented. Those who come in illegally will be departed. Earlier this month, I welcomed a new cadre of enforcement officers into the Inspectorate unit which does the deportations.

President Ramaphosa has guided us that the migration of people must be done in an orderly and peaceful manner. He instructed us to work with authorities from our neighbouring countries to this. We are continuously working on this matter.

Thank you

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