People with disabilities to get smart ID cards

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs will dedicate a week to issuing smart ID cards to some citizens living with disabilities.

This as the country observes National Disability Rights Awareness Month.

Speaking at her department’s weekly media briefing, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said the issuing of the smart IDs will take place during the week of 18-22 November 2013 in and around Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The identified people will consist of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) disability grant recipients and learners from some schools for children with special needs.

“As part of our efforts to ensure quality and responsive service delivery to all sectors of our society, the department has ensured that the new smart ID card has braille. This will enable blind people to easily recognise the card. The smart ID card has the word ‘ID’ written in braille on the front of the card,” said Pandor.

Pandor further announced that National Treasury has reached an agreement with the department to completely waive fees for the smart ID card for pensioners, who are 60 years old and above.

“This is in recognition of the contribution made by our senior citizens to the development of our economy and the country over the years. Most importantly, however, we waive these fees for senior citizens because we care about their welfare,” Pandor said.

She, however, stressed that the first issue of the smart ID card for pensioners will be free but replacements will cost R140.

Since the launch of the smart ID card on 18 July 2013, which coincided with the celebration of Nelson Mandela Day, the department specifically stated that the card will be issued free of charge to 16-year olds, who are first time applicants. This is in keeping with current regulations that allow for first time applicants to receive identity documents free of charge.

Pandor also reminded the public that that the implementation of the smart ID card programme will take a few years and called upon citizens to exercise patience.

“Citizens should await our invitation to come to our offices to apply for the smart ID card. We will invite citizens according to months of birth. The green barcoded ID remains a legal form of identity. The launch of the smart ID card and associated technologies signals further achievements of our democracy,” she said.

The department won an award for the best designed smart ID card for 2013 during the recent Asia, Middle East and Africa High Security Printing Conference held in Bangkok on 7 October. –