Home Affairs to digitise records
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.