The minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has urged individuals to collect their uncollected ID documents ahead of the registration weekend for this year’s local government elections. The department has in its possession around 200 000 uncollected smart ID cards at its headquarters, as well as 5 000 uncollected green bar coded documents. This estimation does not include the number of IDs uncollected at provincial offices.
Normally, if ID’s are not collected within 12 months, they are destroyed. The minister stated that the department had relaxed their policy on the destruction of uncollected IDs until after the local government elections.
He also raised concerns about the number of people who did not have any IDs at all, and were not registered at any government institutions. These unregistered individuals were economic and security risks, he said.
Deputy minister of Home Affairs, Fatima Chohan, explained that the department issues two types of ID documents; the smart card reserved for South African citizens, and the green bar-coded ID which the department is “phasing out.”
“Those that have been lying with the department, the time has come for us to make a decision about whether to retain these documents to destroy them,” Chohan explained.
She confirmed that the department has decided to postpone the destruction of the uncollected green-ID books in the hope that individuals, who the documents belong to, will collect it.
The reason for the backlog of uncollected ID books is due to the fact that individuals tend to collect their ID’s when “they need them.”
Nationally, Chohan notes, 273 smart-ID have not been collected. Applicants of the smart-ID card are provided with the option to choose an office of collection.
She further noted that since Department of Home Affairs only allows for documents to be collected at the office of application, migrant workers are unable to collect their documents on the collection date.
The department has, therefore, postponed the date of destruction of the uncollected green-ID books until after the Easter holidays when migrant-workers return home.
Voters are required to produce one of the following: Green, bar-coded ID book, Smartcard ID, Temporary ID certificate. No other forms of identification are accepted.
To accommodate individuals who have not collected their ID-cards, the Department of Home Affairs will be open this weekend, from 8:00-17:00. VOC