What You Can Expect From South Africa’s Updated Identity System

The South African government is currently working on an updated national identification system with the ultimate goal of building a ‘future-fit’ Home Affairs.

Speaking at an ID4Africa conference earlier this month, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said that the system will provide a single source of information about all clients, using both biographic and biometric technologies.

“The new national identity system South Africa seeks to build will serve as a master source for civics and immigration management,” she said.

“The modernisation of South Africa’s Home Affairs, when fully and successfully implemented, will re-engineer and automate most of the key processes of the department and yield a significantly enhanced national identification system, and a credible national population register.”

Some of the key elements of the system include:

  • Records of persons throughout their lifespan;
  • Birth, marriage and death records of residents (citizens, permanent residents, asylum seekers and refugees);
  • All persons entering the country will have their biometrics captured during the visa application process or at the point of entry;
  • Processing and storing of asylum seekers and refugees’ applications;
  • Records of visitors who enter and leave the country;
  • Records of illegal persons in the country.

Pandor also promised that the new system will be more customer-centric and will be a secure environment.

“With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the ultimate goal is to utilize technology in bringing government services closer to the people, where they live,” she said.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Close to R1 Billion Allocated to Settle Historic Student Debt in South Africa

The department of higher education and training has allocated an additional R967m to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to settle historic debt owed to universities by 52,514 students.

“This is a significant contribution which will alleviate some of the debt owed to universities by students and is confirmation that government is sensitive to the plight of students from poor and working-class families,” said higher education and training minister Naledi Pandor.

The department said the allocation was specifically for those students who were funded under the previous NSFAS scheme before significantly improved funding started in 2018.

According to 2018 funding support, students whose combined annual household income was less than R350,000 a year qualified for free education.

In the case of continuing NSFAS-funded students, Pandor said those whose total annual family income was less than R122,000 a year were required to fund part of their costs through family or own funding.

As a result, the amount of funding provided by NSFAS was sometimes insufficient to cover total actual fees and the cost of study, particularly at universities and programmes with high fees.

This resulted in students accruing debt with their institution despite being funded by NSFAS.

Pandor said this was the first phase of the assessment of the historical debt owed to universities.

“We have now concluded the first phase of the due diligence and found that 52,514 NSFAS-qualifying students who were registered for the 2018 academic year owed universities R967m,” Pandor said.

It is anticipated that all the students funded through the old scheme would exit the system by the 2022 academic year.

For more info about the NSFAS, visit their website here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].