The ABIS project started in January 2016. It is a modern IT system based on commodity hardware. It was designed to be run as a critical service without interruptions. It promises many possibilities in identity management while speaking to the type of Home Affairs we want to see in the future.

This modern IT system will integrate with other relevant systems, inside and outside Home Affairs, to allow for one holistic view of the status of clients.  It will serve as a single source for biometric authentication of citizens and non-citizens across state institutions and private sector entities.

The ABIS project will be rolled-out in phases, over a five-year period. Among others, implementation will entail migration of the current HANIS data (fingerprints and facial recognition) to the new ABIS, with improved functionality, installation and configuration of ABIS infrastructure (hardware), and building of system functionalities.

When it goes live, the following benefits can be expected:

On services,

  • Service delivery improvements due to faster turnaround times for those applying for ID documents or passports,

  • Reduced cases of duplicate identities,

  • A future-fit identification and security solution in support of national government’s drive towards modernisation of all departments, for service efficiency.

On the economy,

  • The banks will be able to verify client identity quicker.

  • Tourism will benefit due to quicker response times at ports of entry to capture or verify a traveller’s identity.

On security,

  • SAPS will be able to search for suspects by matching latent prints against records on ABIS,

  • Improved border control, which should create also a competitive economic environment to attract critical skills, enable growth, increase foreign direct investment, create jobs and fight poverty.

This integrated multi-modal system that is scalable and expandable for future capabilities, is itself protected through cutting edge authentication and security protocols. This approach of ensuring our technology is future-ready, builds on the approach used to develop the smart ID card, which has now been issued to 10 million citizens.

As part of ABIS awareness, officials will be exposed to new and modern ways of working.