Smart ID card will benefit SA – De Klerk

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cape Town – The Department of Home Affairs’ new smart ID card is a step in the right direction and will help combat identity fraud, former President FW de Klerk said today after receiving his new smart ID card.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, visited De Klerk this afternoon at the offices of the FW De Klerk Foundation in the city to hand over his new smart ID card.

Said De Klerk: “I think with all the bad experiences with regards to falsification of documentation, this is a good step in the right direction of ensuring that all citizens of South Africa, firstly -- but hopefully also all those with permanent residence and visitors to the country -- will have proper documentation, so that we can effectively … maintain law and order and … that all citizens will be able to prove their identity without problems…”

De Klerk asked Pandor whether the card would already be accepted by various institutions around the country or whether he should keep his green ID book as back-up for some time.

Pandor replied that the department had recently gazetted a proclamation, stating that the old ID book would be replaced by the new smart ID.

However, she advised him and members of the public that they would be allowed to keep the green ID book for now because not all retailers and banks had the necessary reader to read the card.

She said Home Affairs offices were being fitted with technology necessary to process the cards and added that the department aimed to have 27 offices up and running with the equipment by the end of next month.

By the end of the year, the department wants to have 70 offices available to the public to receive applications for new smart ID cards.

The department said the roll-out of the smart ID cards was likely to take a number of years.

The public will shortly be invited to apply for the smart ID cards, with applications to be made in accordance with applicants’ month of birth.

Smart ID cards will be issued free of charge to 16-year-olds who are first-time applicants, while all other applicants will be expected to pay R140.

As part of the launch, a number of leading South Africans -- including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former President Thabo Mbeki, struggle stalwarts Ahmed Kathrada, Frene Ginwala, Sophie De Bruyn -- and several senior citizens of ages ranging between 80 and 109 years were recently handed their smart ID cards.

One of the first smart ID cards was handed over to former President Nelson Mandela through his daughter Zindzi Mandela.

Pandor is scheduled to visit Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu tomorrow in the city, to hand him his new smart ID card. –

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