|Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs is to issue 2000 smart card ID's during the project's pilot phase, the Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has announced.
During a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, Apleni said that the department was currently in the first phase of the pilot project and that Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma would soon be issuing 2000 smart card IDs to South Africans of all races and gender, with the possible involvement of those stalwarts who had been involved in the struggle against the pass laws.
The pilot phase was being conducted to allow the department to test it systems, including the hardware and software to be used in the production of the smart cards.
"It will also enable government to procure the required machinery to produce the volume of cards that will be required so that we eventually completely phase out the current green bar-coded ID," he added.
During the pilot phase the durability of the smart card will be tested, as well as whether the memory on the card's chip - where the information will be stored - was adequate.
Apleni pointed out that other government departments such as Transport, Health and Social Development wanted to be involved in the smart card project. The department would look into how it could upscale the chip on the cards to accommodate these departments.
Apleni explained that they were looking at having South Africans using one card for all their documentation requirements - such as a driver's license, firearm licence, or NHI or a grant.
Once all the necessary systems are ready to produce smart cards, all ID applications from that point onwards will be treated as applications for smart cards.
"It is at this point that Minister Dlamini Zuma will promulgate the costs of the smart ID card. We however, reiterate the comments by Minister Dlamini Zuma...that, the first issue of the smart card will be free while any other re-issue will have a cost implication for the applicant," Apleni said.
It was possible that the green bar-coded ID could eventually be phased out in about four years, he added. - BuaNews
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