The Department of Home Affairs has a constitutional mandate to ensure all South Africans, 16 years and above, acquire the necessary green barcoded identity documents or Smart ID Cards, to enable them to access opportunities and various services that government provides.

As you know, one of the most critical advantages of an enabling document, like a green ID book or a Smart ID Card, is that it affords citizens an opportunity freely to cast their votes or to be voted for in South Africa’s democratic elections, thus to translate into action the principle that ‘the people shall govern.’ In this context, you choose who to govern, in local or national government structures, using enabling documents that are supplied, exclusively, by the Department of Home Affairs.

It follows therefore that Home Affairs should be ready always to provide services to all prospective voters, in support of the Republic’s electoral process, and in promotion of our constitutional democracy broadly. It is against this backdrop that we had then convened this media briefing to apprise you, and the nation, of our readiness as a department to support the effort of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to deliver a free, fair and credible local government election.

In preparation for the upcoming local government elections, scheduled for the 3rd of August 2016, as declared by the President of the Republic, as the Ministry and Department of Home Affairs we have in place arrangements to ensure certain services are extended beyond the normal working hours.

Accordingly, services that follow will be extended to assist clients prior to the elections,

  • Collection of green barcoded ID books and Smart ID Cards, and
  • Issuance of Temporary Identity Certificates (TICs).

The Department will ensure that Home Affairs offices, across the country, are open on these days:

  • Saturday, 30 July 2016 – [From 08h30 to 17h00]
  • Monday, 1 August 2016 – [08h30 to 18h00]
  • Tuesday, 2 August 2016 – [08h30 to 18h00]
  • Wednesday, 3 August 2016 – [07h00 to 19h00]


Already arrangements have been made with the IEC for Home Affairs officials who will be deployed in the provinces on Election Day, to cast special votes, on 1 August 2016.

I urge citizens who have applied for ID books and Smart ID Cards to collect these documents, from the Home Affairs offices where they had applied. Collection of documents is a very serious matter. It therefore concerns me deeply that at the end of June 2016, we had a total of,

  • 44 681uncollected green ID books across the country,
  • 68 669uncollected Smart ID Cards,
  • 168 950 uncollectedre-issue Smart ID Cards.

This brings the total of all uncollected identity documents to 282 300 – including all uncollected green ID books and Smart ID Cards.These are kept at Home Affairs offices for a prescribed period of time. We will compile, and distribute, a list of people who must collect their identity documents.

The Department has been lenient to those who have not collected their IDs for periods exceeding one year as consideration for the elections. After 03 August 2016, we will revert back to the policy of destroying ID documents that have been uncollected for over a year. The policy of destroying uncollected documents is implemented to protect against any potential fraudulent activity. Therefore, it will be the responsibility of the applicant to lodge a new application and pay the prescribed amount where necessary.

Our clarion call is that:

  • Citizens should collect their IDs, with no delay, both the green ID books & Smart ID Cards.
  • All Home Affairs Stakeholder Forums are to enlist support of communities to distribute IDs.
  • Local Governments, where possible, should assist citizens struggling to reach Home Affairs offices to collect their document, including those in remote and rural communities, and those in informal settlements and historically disadvantaged communities. In this regard, providing transport is one of the ways of assisting our people to get their documents.
  • All political parties should encourage voters to collect their enabling documents, so they can exercise their democratic right to vote come 3 August.




Green IDs



Free State

1 832

37 790

39 622

Northern Cape


8 982

9 118

North West

1 472

16 440

17 912


2 558

51 261

53 819

Eastern Cape

7 149

15 888

23 037

Western Cape

3 984

26 544

30 528


3 813

26 452

30 265


4 964

14 455

19 419


18 773

38 490

57 263



1 317

1 3 17


44 681

237 619

282 300


Thank you.

Released by the Department of Home Affairs