|The first phase of the smart ID card pilot will soon see an extension of the card to a sample size of 2 000.
Speaking at a briefing yesterday, home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said the introduction of a new smart ID card must be viewed within the context of national efforts to consolidate the restoration of people's identity, citizenship and their dignity, “which was denied for centuries by successive racist regimes”.
Home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, during her budget speech last week, announced the smart card would be piloted this year and rolled out to citizens from next year. The card was demonstrated to Cabinet last week.
“The pilot is being conducted so we are able to test our systems, which includes our hardware and software to be used in the production of these 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,” said Apleni.
He added that once all systems are ready for the production of the smart ID card, it is envisaged by Dlamini-Zuma that all applications for IDs will from then onwards be treated as applications for the smart cards. “It is at this point that minister Dlamini-Zuma will promulgate the costs of the smart ID card.”
However, Apleni reiterates that the first issue of the smart card will be free, while any other re-issue will have a cost implication for the applicant.
Deleting the dompas
“The theme of our address this year is 'From dompas to smart ID card'. To enable our people to enjoy the fruits of liberation and make them feel that indeed, they are moving from the dompas to the ID and eventually to the smart card,” said the minister in her budget speech.
She added that the smart card will be produced in-house by Government Printing Works. “The new smart card is a key element in the national identity system that will replace the current civic and immigration identity systems. The national identity system will enable us to digitally capture biometric and biographical details of all South Africans or foreign nationals, which will be stored in one integrated system. The system will be linked to systems for movement control, permitting, as well as asylum seeker and refugee management.”
The smart ID card will replace the traditional green ID books for South African citizens. The smart cards will have embedded microchips, which can be used to secure state pension payouts. Additional uses are being considered. The current green ID book is not sufficient to match new technologies and transactions under the IT modernisation project.
Apleni also said the department is working to address the problem of duplicate IDs. “[The] first phase of the campaign will target the 29 000 people where two or more people share one ID number. The second phase will focus on the further 83 000 affected persons where a single person has multiple ID numbers.”
For the first phase, the process includes publication on the department's Web site (www.dha.gov.za) of the names of affected people; and inviting South Africans to check their status on the SMS track and trace service.
An SMS can be sent to 32551 with the following information: D (for duplicate) followed by the affected ID number. If one is part of the 29 000 affected persons, they will be asked to approach their nearest home affairs office for assistance.
The department will also publish the names of all those affected in major print media across the country. “Due to security reasons, the publication will include only the name, birth date and area of last known residence.”
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