The Department of Home Affairs has noted with concern reports alleging that Minister Malusi Gigaba had intentionally misled the nation by implying that no fraud or corruption had been detected during the roll out of the Smart ID card.

These misleading reports deliberately intend to misrepresent a presentation made to the Home Affairs Parliamentary Committee by Gauteng Provincial Manager, Albert Matsaung.

In his presentation, Mr Matsaung clarified that the fraudulent instances he had alluded to had occurred during applications for green barcoded identity documents and not during applications for Smart ID cards.The Home Affairs Gauteng province has implemented a strategy within its Smart Card offices of confirmation before going through the Smart Card process and verification prior to issuance. This would apply, in particular, to cases where the applicant is suspected to be a non-South African.

The process has been implemented to clean up the National Population Register due to previous processes of cases where non South African citizens found their way into the system and acquired green barcoded IDs fraudulently.

The verification process is delegated to front offices at submission and collection with the assistance of immigration officers. 

Since the implementation of the strategy, various offices identified suspected cases where green barcoded IDs that had been fraudulently acquired were used to apply for Smart ID cards. However, due to the tightened security measures, which include the submission of biometrics during the collection phase, the applicants failed to collect their documents upon request to appear at offices of application.

The following offices had registered suspected cases as follows:

  1. Byron’s Place office in Pretoria retrieved one card where the applicant failed to confirm her nationality and thus the document could not be issued.
  2. Harrison Street office in Johannesburg has handed over 64 cases of suspected fraud to our Counter Corruption unit for investigations.
  3. Vanderbjilpark office identified two Smart ID Card applications by a Zimbabwean couple who failed to fulfill set security requirements.

To this end, the Department of Home Affairs maintains its initial stance that the introduction of the Smart ID card remains the best solution to challenges that were experienced previously through the manipulation of the application processes for the green barcoded ID book. This had placed the National Population Register at risk while the introduction of the Smart ID card, through its secured processes, protects the integrity and restores the dignity of the NPR.

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