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25 May 2009 16:49
Corruption within the Home Affairs Department has rendered South African identity documents suspect internationally, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Monday.
“We can no longer be sure whether the person in possession of a South African passport is 100% South African,” she told journalists at the National Press Club in Pretoria.
She said regardless of the new security features in the new passports, some countries still demanded a visa because a South African passport was not secure enough.
“We have a lot to clean up in our population register.”
As part of the clean-up campaign, she said there was a need to minimise late birth registration.
“We need to change our birth certificate to [for example] include the details of the mother. The current birth certificate only reflects the name of the child and a number.”
She said a discussion was on as to at what age children’s fingerprints should be taken and stored in data until such time as that child applied for an identity document.
When such a child applies for an ID, only the fingerprints need to be pressed in an identity machine to identify him or her.
Dlamini-Zuma said another aspect of minimising fraudulent issues of passports and IDs was to issue IDs at high schools to children 16 years old and above.—Sapa
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