The Department of Home Affairs has announced the start of a new pilot project to issue passports through banks.
Minister of Home AffairsMalusi Gigaba said this initiative comes after the success of a similar project that has issued at least 2 000 smart card identity documents (IDs) since August.
Listen to Mayihlome Tshwete, Home affairs spokesman
Both the smart ID cards and passport projects have worked really well. Two pilot sites have taken both applications. The process has been seamless.— Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs
According to Gigaba, the department will launch the online application process this month, which will allow clients to complete the necessary documentation at home.
When arriving at the banks, applicants will bypass queues and proceed to take their photographs, and provide their automated fingerprint and signature.
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Gigaba said the roll-out of this project would happen at different branches, in different phases, according to the agreements reached with respective commercial banks.
Standard Bank, Nedbank, and FNB have signed a memorandum of understanding with the department to help roll out the project.
The system was tested by issuing the cards to employees first before it could be opened for bank clients.