|Over the next four years, your green barcode ID might no longer exist, and could be replaced by the Smart ID card which is the size of a driving licence.
If the Home Affairs Department has its way, the Smart ID card will also be used for the National Health Insurance (NHI), collection of social grants and as a driving licence card.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday announced the pilot project for the new Smart ID cards, which the department hopes will eradicate the prevalence of ID duplications and identity theft.
The department recently published the names of about 29 000 citizens whose ID numbers have been duplicated, in the hope that they can come forward and be issued with new ID numbers.
The pilot project will see the production of the Smart ID cards for new applications over the next six months, after which application for replacements will also be issued with the Smart ID cards for 18 months. This will be followed by a total recall of all green barcode IDs, which is expected to take about four years.
Those seeking to replace lost IDs will pay the current amount of R140, while new applications will be free of charge.
Dlamini-Zuma said the pilot phase would cost the department R5 million, but she did not have the exact cost of the project when it is finally rolled out. She said the new Smart ID cards couldn’t be forged and would improve the turnaround time of the issuing of an ID from the time a person applies.
According to the minister, it had taken only one day for her own ID card to be processed.
She said they were currently discussing with the departments of Social Development, Health and Transport to work out ways to incorporate the rendering of their services using the card.
Institutions that need to verify a person’s identity, including banks and retailers, would have to buy a small verification machine which matches the fingerprints of the person presenting the card with those recorded on the card. ”It will be pointless for a person to steal or pick up a Smart ID Card and try to use it fraudulently. Firstly, the photograph on the card cannot be removed and forged and the fingerprints recorded on the card will not match those of the person trying to use it fraudulently,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
The cards will be printed by the Government Printing Works, eliminating the use of service providers and reducing the cost of production.
According to Dlamini-Zuma the production of the cards would be cheaper than the production of the current ID books, but the exact cost was not yet available.
The ID cards will be in circulation before the next general elections, but it was not clear how these would be used by the Independent Electoral Commission. “The IEC knows… by the time of the election they will be ready. They are part of the department and agencies that we are discussing this project with,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
According to the minister, the department will be training many of its employees on the capturing and processing of the new cards, with the intention of drastically improving the turn-around time.
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