Digitisation of Home Affairs Civic paper records
You will recall that His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during the State of the Nation Address in February 2022 that “the Department of Home Affairs will recruit 10 000 unemployed young graduates for the digitisation of its Civic paper records, enhancing their skills and contributing to the modernisation of citizens services” through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, PES.
The Department has more than 350 million Civic paper records relating to birth, marriages, deaths and amendments. The category of records date back to 1895 which necessitate care and reliable systems that will bear tolerance for the digitisation purposes. These records are in all provinces and the bulk of which are in Gauteng, North West and the Western Cape.
Following the announcement made by the President, I have made subsequent comments on the acquisition of the 10 000 unemployed graduates. This briefing is to update you on the progress that has been made thus far.
Before I delve into the details of the update on the youth acquisition, it must be noted that the Department is increasingly using technology to improve the way its renders services to the people and to improve the security of our documents.
This will be possible through the realization of the secondary objective of the digitization project which seeks to recruit 10 000 unemployed young graduates. These unemployed youth should be qualified in Information Technology; Document, Information and Records Management, obtained from Institutions of Higher Learning (Universities, Universities of Technologies, TVETs).
The project will run over a three (3) year period, effective from November 2022 until October 2025. Successful youth will be paid a stipend ranging from R5 000 for entry level positions to R9 500 for Technical Support level positions and R14 250 for Manager level positions.
This cohort will be required to sign a three-year contract linked to the duration of the project.
The Department will partner with relevant stakeholders to facilitate training of these recruits. Training offered will be relevant to job for which they are contracted to perform, continuous learning and development interventions will be provided to enhance their employability and/or allow them to leverage on entrepreneurial opportunities beyond the project.
The acquisition of the young unemployed graduates will be done in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Labour. Considering the large number to be recruited, the acquisition process will be undertaken in a phased approach as follows:
Phase 1 – will see recruitment of the first intake of 2 000 unemployed youth graduates. The adverts for this phase will be available as from tomorrow, 12 August 2022. This cohort will assume duty on 1 November 2022.
Phase 2 – will see a further recruitment of 4 000 unemployed youth graduates. The adverts for this phase will be placed during October 2022. This cohort will assume duty in January 2023.
Phase 3 – will see a further and last recruitment of 4 000 unemployed youth graduates. The adverts for this phase will be placed during December 2022 and January 2023. This cohort will assume duty in April 2023.
Youth can register and apply online through the DHA and DEL websites. Those that don’t not have access to the internet can visit their closest Labour Centre of the Department of Employment and Labour.
The acquisition process will ascribe to the following guiding principles:
- Fair and transparent process;
- Inclusive of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs);
- Accessible to unemployed young graduate across the country;
- This is not an Internship program but rather a programme that addresses youth unemployment;
- The acquisition process will adopt a blended approach wherein applications are received through walk-in centres, Labour Centres and on digital platforms;
- Advertisements will be placed on Social Media platforms, Radio, Print Media, Television, Labour Centres and on the following websites: labour.gov.za and dha.gov.za;
In this month of women, and to honour the heroines of the 1956 march to the Union Building, we wish to announce that 60% of the intake will be of young women and only 40% will be young men.
Parallel to the process of youth acquisition, the Department is also preparing the workstations and sourcing tools required to ensure that they are able to start digitising records in December 2022.
Quite often, South Africans complain bitterly about the delays they experience when they apply for Unabridged Birth Certificates, Unabridged Marriage Certificates, Amendments and Rectification of their biographic details.
This is because to finalise all these applications, Home Affairs officials have to manually search for original documents among these 350 million manual records. Obviously such a tedious process will take a long time, which people may not be aware of. This leads to frustration when people have to make several visits to Home Affairs.
Deputy Minister Nzuza is running a very important programme of helping Grade 12 learners to apply for IDs. One of the documents required for this process is the Unabridged Birth Certificate. Quite often, there is a delay for completion for the issuance of such IDs for the same reason that officials have to search manually for the records.
Once the records are digitised, Home Affairs officials will have access to them at a click of a button and would be able to finalise the applications instantly. This will obviate people having to come to the office on multiple occasions.
Grade 12 learners will be able to spend more time studying and preparing for their exams instead of making several visits to Home Affairs offices.
Reducing the number of times a person needs to visit a Home Affairs office for these services will reduce queues in our offices.