Home Af­fairs to digi­tise records

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

The De­part­ment of Home Af­fairs will digi­tise 286 mil­lion records at its dis­posal through the digi­ti­sa­tion project it launched on Wed­nes­day, in part­ner­ship with Statistics South Africa. Birth cer­tifi­cates will be pri­ori­tised, fol­lowed by other doc­u­ments.

The digi­ti­sa­tion project, con­vert­ing in­for­ma­tion into a dig­i­tal for­mat process, fol­lows close col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the De­part­ment of Home Af­fairs and Statistics South Africa. It sig­ni­fies a tran­si­tion from the old sys­tems of record keep­ing to a mod­ern, ef­fi­cient and se­cure stor­age method.

Speak­ing at the launch, Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba said digi­tis­ing records will make them more eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

He said mod­ernising the de­part­ment means us­ing the most mod­ern, in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy and man­age­ment ap­proaches to ful­fil the de­part­ment’s man­date.

“It means tak­ing the in­con­ve­nience away from our clients. It means mov­ing from a pa­per-based de­part­ment with all the ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­ef­fi­cien­cies, slow pro­cesses, se­cu­rity risks and op­por­tu­ni­ties for cor­rup­tion, to a dig­i­tal de­part­ment which is ef­fi­cient, fast and se­cure,” he said.

Gi­gaba said the space for hous­ing doc­u­ments was scarce and ex­pen­sive.

The De­part­ment of Home Af­fairs has 286 mil­lion records; 90 per­cent are in pa­per for­mat.

Statis­ti­cian Gen­eral Dr Pali Le­hohla said the project started in 2001.

“It was a very hard de­ci­sion to take. It is the be­gin­ning of digi­ti­sa­tion of the state,” he said.

– SAnews.gov.za

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