In 2021, the Home Office said it wanted to expand its satellite branch strategy to at least 70 bank branches across the country, with the rollout due to start on 1 July 2022.
However, more than a month after the planned start date, there has been no word on new branches or services offered, and local banks have been suspended.
South African banks say they are interested in rolling out domestic affairs services to more branches in the country, but they are still waiting for the DHA to sign service level agreements and outline its strategy.
Banks that offer DHA services, including Standard Bank, Nedbank, Absa and FNB, said there was growing demand among their customers to use the satellite offices and they continued to discuss with the department how to expand services. in more regions.
Nedbank told BusinessTech that the DHA services at its branches are incredibly popular and there is demand among customers to expand them.
“We currently have five DHA sites and plan to expand our deployment plans once DHA has agreed to a Public Private Partnership Service Level Agreement (SLA),” the bank said. “The service is extremely popular and usage among our customers continues to grow.”
Nedbank said customers can currently apply for an ID card at branches representing DHA. It is anticipated that once completed, the SLA may include enhanced services regardless of which bank the DHA site is associated with.
FNB said it is continuing to work with the Home Office to potentially extend the Smart ID and Passport service to more branches.
Since the beginning of cooperation with the department, the bank has issued about 370,000 Smart ID cards and passports.
The service is currently available at seven FNB branches in Gauteng, KZN, Western Cape and Limpopo. The bank said it sees potential to expand DHA services to Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.
“We believe there is potential to further expand the service in areas such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. However, the expediency of placing these places depends on constant interactions with the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” the bank noted.
Meanwhile, Absa said it was awaiting recommendations from the department regarding the expansion of services.
“We are in ongoing negotiations (with DHA), including the possibility of expanding the current offerings. Part of the discussion with DHA is to determine the length and breadth of the offer in South Africa,” Absa said.
Discussions with DHA to expand Smart ID and passport services are also taking place at an industry level through the Banking Association of South Africa, it said.
Standard Bank said inquiries about the rollout of more bank branches participating in DHA services should be referred to the department for information, as it is DHA that determines the way forward.
The department previously attributed the delay in expanding bank branches to a lack of skills and personnel to fill the positions.
Responding to a parliamentary question and answer in March 2022, Minister Aaron Matsoaledi said his department and the country’s major banks had not signed the required public-private partnership (PPP) due to a number of “urgent issues” that still needed to be resolved.
These problems include:
- System support in banks;
- Appointment of special officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for banks;
- Training of individual bank officials;
- Lack of available personnel.
“Currently, the Civil Services Team is short-staffed in all Home Office offices across the country and there are no additional staff to deploy to the banks. This issue concerns all potential banks for further deployment of the service in question,” Motsaaledi said.
The department did not respond to inquiries about the delay in rolling out satellite offices in bank branches across the country, nor did it provide an update on how it is addressing skills shortages.
However, at a press briefing on the new digitization strategy, Motsoaledi said the process of making it easier to serve communities is ongoing, citing partnerships with banks as one of the key measures to reduce queues at offices.
Despite the delay, the department also continues to move forward with expanding services and expects to open DHA satellite branches in popular shopping centers in September 2022.
“Since the malls still have to relocate some tenants to make room for the interior, we will be installing our equipment there around September of this year. We will start with Menlyn Mall in Pretoria and then expand to the others,” the department said.
There are currently 26 bank branches in South Africa that provide DHA services, including Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, FNB, Discovery Bank and Investec. Capitec does not offer these services.
The branches below do not allow walk-ins and only require an online application and reservation process.
|Absa Centurion Lifestyle Center||Centurion, Gauteng||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|Absa Sandton City||Sandton, Gauteng||c/o Rivonia Road & 5th Street, Sandton|
|Absa Port Elizabeth||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||Greenacres Shopping Centre, 1 Ring Rd|
|Absa Key West||Krugersdorp, Gauteng||Shop 80, Key West Mall, c/o Paardekraal Drive & Viljoen Street|
|Discovery Bank Sandton||Sandton, Johannesburg||1 Discovery Place, c/o Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton|
|FNB Burgersfort||Burgersfort, Limpopo||Shop 55 Twin City Complex, Dirk Winterbach Street|
|FNB Greenpoint||Greenpoint, Cape Town||Media Quarter, Somerset Road|
|FNB Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion, Gauteng||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Ave|
|FNB Linwood||Pretoria, Gauteng||Shop 4, Upper Level, Cnr Simon Vermooten & Lynnwood Road, Equestria|
|FNB Merchant Place||Johannesburg, Gauteng||4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia Road & Fredman Drive|
|FNB Glen||Johannesburg, Gauteng||U2 Store, Glen Shopping Centre, Glenvista, Johannesburg|
|FNB Carnubia||Durban, KZN||Shop u56, Cornubia Boulevard|
|Investec Bank Sandton||Sandton, Johannesburg||100 Grayston Drive, Sandown|
|Nedbank Arkady||Pretoria, Gauteng||c/o Steve Biko & Madiba Street|
|Nedbank Sandown||Sandton, Gauteng||Shop L05 Block I Lower Ground, c/o Rivonia Rd & Maude St|
|Nedbank Constance Clough||Roodepoort, Gauteng||18 Constantia Boulevard, Constantia Kloof|
|Nedbank St George’s Mall||Cape Town, Western Cape||St Georges Shopping Centre, Cape Town|
|Nedbank Nelspruit Junction||Mbombela, Mpumalanga||Shop 65 The Crossing Shopping Centre, c/o Madiba & Samora Machel Drives, Nelspruit|
|Centurion Standard Bank||Pretoria, Gauteng||c/o Hendrik Verwoerd & South Street|
|Standard Bank Killarney Shopping Centre||Johannesburg, Gauteng||Killarney Shopping Centre, 60 Riviera Road, Houghton|
|Standard Bank Simmonds Street||Johannesburg, Gauteng||5 Simmonds Street|
|A standard walk along the Bank Canal||Cape Town, Western Cape||Shop 599 Upper Level, Canal Walk Mall, Century City|
|Standard Bank Jubilee Shopping Centre||Hammanskraal, Gauteng||Shop at 47 Jubilee Mall, c/o Jubilee Road D154 and Harry Gwala Road D2757|
|Kingsmead Standard Bank||Durban, KZN||Standard Bank Centre, 1 Kingsmead Way, Stamford Hill|
|Standard Bank Newton Park||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape||1 Pickering Street, Newton Park|
|Standard Bank Promenade Shopping Centre||Cape Town, Western Cape||Road Shop 73-75 Promenade Mall Beacon Valley, c/o AZ Berman Road & Morgenster Road|
Read: Home Affairs expands new online booking system in South Africa – and bank branches where you can get your Smart ID and passport