The Registrar-General Henry Machiri has said plans are underway to establish passport enrolment centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town before the end of this year.
This will enable Zimbabweans living in South Africa to apply for and collect passports and national identity cards in the neighbouring country.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Machiri said they are planning to establish e-passport enrolment centres in several countries. He said:
E-passport enrolment centres are being established across borders and citizens will benefit by applying whilst in countries that will have these facilities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is implementing the e-passport system in South Africa.
Renovations to consulate offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town will be completed soon. We are targeting to open the two centres before the end of the year.
Consul-General at Zimbabwe’s Embassy in Johannesburg Eria Phiri said:
Renovation and repurposing of the building is now complete and work is going on well.
For the consulate office, everything is now ready and we are waiting for the deployment of the information and communication technology infrastructure at the end of this month.
The offices will greatly improve the ability of Zimbabweans in South Africa to access their civic documents.
Meanwhile, Machiri said Zimbabweans will soon be able to apply for civic documents (birth certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, etc) online once the deployment of the enhanced Zimbabwe Population Registry System (ZPRS) by the Government is complete.
Currently, applicants have to come in person to apply for the documents at the Civil Registry Department offices.
The ZPRS will link Government offices in real-time, cutting bureaucracy and revolutionising the department’s work. Said Machiri:
The digital migration is likely to start end of October 2023. The servers have been installed and configured. Software development for system applications is in progress.
The online passport application process is not yet functional. The system is being implemented in phases. We expect to complete the implementation of all phases in 12 months.
He also said more than 100 000 e-passports have been issued since the introduction of e-passports in January 2022.
More: Pindula News