Premier Mabuza gets smart ID card

Thursday, January 30, 2014

By Cecilia Mohlala

Mbombela - Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza received his new smart ID card on Thursday.

Mabuza, who officially applied for the new ID card on Tuesday last week, handed over his old green ID book at the Home Affairs offices in Mbombela on Thursday, in exchange for his new card.

“It feels good and this is one indication that the past is slowly fading away and a new era is slowly setting in. The process is very easy and simple, our people will like it and we will encourage them to bear with the Home Affairs staff,” said Mabuza.

Mabuza said they would help the department reach its target of issuing 100 000 people with their smart ID cards by the end of March. The roll-out to the general public will start with first-time identity document applicants and senior citizens.

“We will help the Home Affairs office to (serve) the old people first... and also work out a system to find a way to transport them. However, the young people will have to take the long route by queuing,” he said.

The roll-out of smart ID cards in Mpumalanga is currently being implemented in Mbombela, Emalahleni and Middelburg. Offices in Piet Retief and Ermelo are being equipped to follow suit.

Home Affairs regional operations manager Enock Mashiloane said the old green ID book was required when applying for the new card.

"The green ID books are required and they will be handed over to Home Affairs in return for the new smart cards. The maximum time it will take before collection is 14 days,” he said.

The public will be invited to apply for the cards through letters and according to their dates of birth.

While first time applicants and pensioners will not be charged for the smart ID card, South Africans, who will be replacing their current green ID books, will pay R140.

The new smart ID card will have a microchip, which will house the necessary biometric data, and the information on the chip will be laser-engraved to prevent tampering. –