Security Improvements Proposed by Home Affairs For South African Passports

Some of the current security measures is the passport number which is magnetically foiled at bottom of the first page and bar-coded on the top of the last page of the passport. The passport number is also laser engraved on the data page and the photo of the passport holder’s face is laser perforated into the last visa page.

Motsoaledi said Home Affairs wants more stringent border security and additional requirements for receiving important identification and travel documents in the country. One of the mechanisms to manage fraud is to have more people on the Home Affairs database. Home Affairs has been hard at work trying to curb syndicates who manufacture fake documents. These operations have led to the arrest of a number of illegal immigrants especially in Gauteng who make IDs, Passports, SASSA and bank cards fraudulently. These operations have also led to the arrest of Home Affairs employees who allegedly issue documents fraudulently or are part of the syndicates and benefit from them.

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Ryanair request general knowledge quiz in Afrikaans
In June this year, the House of the Lords in the United Kingdom condemned Irish airline, Ryanair, which forced South African passport holders to do a 15-question general knowledge quiz in Afrikaans before they could board their flights either to or from London. The low cost airline faced a lot of backlash and criticism over the test which it said is an “additional safety assessment “. A number of South African passport holders were up in arms following this and some took to social media to express their frustration.

Ryanair said it had a responsibility to ensure that passengers are correctly documented for travel to their destination in terms of UK laws. The low-cost airline said due to the recent increase in passengers attempting to travel on fraudulent South African passports, their handling agents may request passengers travelling on a South African passport, and who are flagged during procedural security profiling, to complete a simple questionnaire, as an additional safety assessment to confirm whether they are correctly documented before travel.

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Using fake South African Passports
Fraud involving South African passports can encompass various illegal activities related to the acquisition or use of these documents. The punishment for using a fake South African passport can vary depending on the specific circumstances, local laws, and the discretion of the court. However, it generally involves consequences such as arrest and detention, criminal charges, court proceedings, sentencing and deportation if the offender is not a South African citizen. This could also result in a ban on reentry into South Africa.

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