Smart ID cards to improve national security

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pretoria - Cabinet has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Home Affairs to pilot the smart ID card, which is expected to be rolled out in the second quarter of this financial year.

Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams on Thursday called on South Africans to support the process in an effort to ensure that all eligible citizens have their smart ID cards by 2020.

“This key milestone holds the potential to speed up government services, while cutting down on crime and corruption involving identity documents,” Williams said after Cabinet's fortnightly meeting.

Cabinet said the new system will further consolidate the country’s national identity and enhance national security.

Last week, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor announced that the long-awaited smart Identity Document (ID) card will be rolled out this year.

Speaking ahead of her department’s budget vote, Pandor said the smart IDs will first be issued to all first-time ID and re-issue applicants.

The smart IDs will initially be introduced at 27 Home Affairs offices across the country, in three offices in each province.

“It is a contactless card containing a microchip embedded with biometric security features. It has a life span of at least 10 years,” Pandor said at the time. –