The Minister of Home Affairs has published the Official Identity Management Policy for comment.
The Policy outlines the following challenges concerning South Africa’s identity management framework:
- The legislation and systems that deal with identity, identity management, and identity management systems are outdated, fragmented, and do not fully align with the constitutional principles of equality, non-discrimination, and human dignity.
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution has implications for South Africa’s identity management, digital identity development, cybersecurity, the digital economy and other new technology-driven frontiers.
- The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is currently operating without an approved identity management framework. Therefore, there is a need to address how the DHA will regulate the processing of personal information in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA).
The Policy proposes several changes, including amending the Identification Act 68 of 1997 and Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act 40 of 2003 to align them with the Constitution and POPIA.
Further, the Policy seeks to:
- Enable an inclusive digital population register that is secure, accurate and confidential.
- Position the DHA as the sole provider of official documentation relating to the identity of civic and international migration status of citizens and foreign nationals within South Africa’s territorial jurisdiction.
- Position the DHA as the sole provider of official identity and civic status verification services.
- Establish rules that govern accessing and processing population register records and data in line with relevant policies and legislation such as POPIA and the Cybercrimes Bill.
- Establish the National Identity System to generate critical data needed for e-government and e-commerce to function.
- Enable an application for DHA services via multiple channels.
Comments on the Official Identity Management Policy can be sent to [email protected], by no later than 28 February 2021.
Enquiries can be sent to 021 406 4353 or [email protected].
The call for comment and the Official Identity Management Policy can be accessed here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].