On 28 February 2021, the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town submitted written comments on the South African Government’s draft Official Identity Management Policy, which was published in the Government Gazette on 31 December 2020.

These written comments are based on our extensive experience in the area of refugee and migrant rights, and have been submitted in light of the impact they stand to have upon migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in South Africa.

Our comments on the draft Policy relate to general observations on the policy as a whole and any gaps or welcome inclusions; and specific comments relating to the three themes outlined in the policy and the ten principles arranged under those themes. The written comments welcome the draft Policy’s commitment towards universal coverage and universal birth registration through an identity system that is free from discrimination.

Our comments also welcome the initiatives towards a centralized national identity management system which includes the identity information of citizens and residents in South Africa, the interoperability of identity systems, and recommendations towards the a randomized identity numbering system.

To read the full Written Comments, click on the button below.