First citizen in Mpuma to apply for Smart ID Card

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretoria – Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza was given the first opportunity in the province to apply for his Smart ID Card, in order to allow members of the provincial legislature and senior citizens to follow.

Addressing journalists outside Nelspruit Home Affairs offices on Tuesday, Mabuza said applying for a new Smart ID Card was a great step forward in identifying himself as a South African.

Mabuza expressed satisfaction at the time it took to undergo the process of applying until one gets his or her document.

He said the time was fair although it would depend on the efficiency of the computers.

“I am liberated now. I do not have to carry a green-bar coded identity document any longer. This is my real freedom, I am indeed moving away from the painful past.

“The system is not complicated. I was verified positively on the spot as a South African. My application was received and I was told to come collect my card on Thursday this week.

“The experience was great, I would like therefore to encourage the people of Mpumalanga to come in numbers and rubberstamp our new founded democracy by getting their Smart ID Card,” Mabuza said.

He told senior officials at the Nelspruit Home Affairs office that the provincial government would assist in ensuring that they reach their target of 100 000 people to have applied and received their smart cards by the end of March this year.

“When it comes to the elderly, we are interested as a provincial government because these are very fragile and complicated people. We would not want them to stand in the queues for a long time. We do not want incidents in the queues as we might be criticised.

“We should do everything to ensure that they are comfortable enough, otherwise they might not come. The department should determine exactly how long it would take to process a certain number of individuals, as a provincial government we are ready to give the necessary support,” Mabuza said.

The roll-out of Smart Cards in Mpumalanga is currently being rolled out in Nelspruit, Witbank and in Middelburg. Offices in Piet Retief and Ermelo are being equipped to follow soon.

The cards have advanced security features and citizens will be invited by the Department of Home Affairs to apply according to their dates of birth.

“The system is very short, unlike before where you had to fill-in many papers and wait probably three months while the documents are sent to Pretoria for processing, everything is now electronic and you get told on the spot if your application has been successful,” Mabuza said. –