25 July 2013
South Africa’s new smart ID card will enable the country to crack down on identity fraud, former president FW de Klerk said after receiving his new ID from Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“I think with all the bad experiences with regards to falsification of documentation, this is a good step in the right direction of ensuring that all citizens of South Africa, firstly – but hopefully also all those with permanent residence and visitors to the country – will have proper documentation,” De Klerk said.
De Klerk asked Pandor whether the card would already be accepted by the releveant institutions around the country or whether he should keep his green ID bar-coded ID book as back-up for some time.
Pandor said the department had recently gazetted a proclamation stating that the old ID book was being replaced by the new smart ID card.
However, she advised him and members of the public to hold on to their green ID books for now because not all retailers and banks had the necessary readers for the new ID cards yet.
She said Home Affairs offices were currently being fitted with technology necessary to process the cards, adding that the department aimed to have 27 offices up and running with the equipment by the end of August.
By the end of the year, the department aims to have 70 offices capable of handling applications for the smart ID cards.
According to Home Affairs, the roll-out of the smart ID cards is likely to take a number of years. The public will shortly be invited to apply for the smart ID cards, with applications to be made in accordance with applicants’ month of birth.
The smart IDs will be issued free of charge to 16-year-old first-time applicants, while all other applicants will be expected to pay R140.
As part of the launch, a number of leading South Africans – including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former president Thabo Mbeki, struggle stalwarts Ahmed Kathrada, Frene Ginwala and Sophie De Bruyn – and several senior citizens between 80 and 109 years old were recently handed their smart ID cards.
One of the first smart ID cards was handed over to former president Nelson Mandela through his daughter, Zindzi Mandela.
Pandor was scheduled to visit Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town on Thursday to hand him his new ID card.