In South Africa, the migration from the Home Affairs’ National Identification System to an Automated Biometric Identification System has been stalled by repeated delays to expedite new technology and phase out physical documents.

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs expressed disappointment that the deadline for completing the transition has been pushed back, with the service provider requesting numerous time extensions to deliver the migration and due diligence.

Significant financial investment was funnelled into the migration process which had been in the planning stages for years.

The committee approves of penalties against the company for the unacceptable delays and instructs challenges and oversights to be addressed, for example why the plan was not followed for migrating data, ensuring end-to-end testing, and synchronising HANIS data.

The department is urged by the Committee to find a workable agreement to impose the penalties and will meet with the service provider and test their biometric systems.

The biometric modality system will upgrade greater capabilities for population registration.