ID smart cards by next elections

2012-05-17 16:00

Pretoria - Smart ID cards could be in use by the next general election, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in Pretoria on Thursday.

She said some South Africans would be using the smart card instead of the green identity book by 2014.

"The IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) is aware of the process and they are making sure that they are ready."

She said the aim of a pilot project, currently under way, is to test how accurate the new system is, and whether iti s ready for the phase-in stages.

A national identity system would capture biometric and biographic details of all South Africans and foreign nationals.

In the next 18 months of the pilot project, the department would start issuing the smart cards to all first-time applicants, Dlamini-Zuma said.

Later, the department would recall the green identity books to replace them with smart cards.

Dlamini-Zuma said discussions are under way with the department of transport regarding merging the drivers' licence card with the smart card.

At the moment the idea was not feasible as drivers' licences had to be renewed every five years, while the smart ID card could be used for up to 10 years without needing to be replaced.

Unlike waiting for weeks or months for a green ID book, it would take several days after an application had been made for a person to get their card.

The most time-consuming element of the process would be sorting cards for various provinces after printing them, and then sending them back to the centres where applications had been made.

Banks, businesses or other credit providers who needed people's identity details would have to purchase small verification machines. These would scan a person's fingerprint, allowing the user to determine if the person was the card's rightful owner.

The verification machines would cost between R30 and R100, depending on the level of sophistication. Police or metro police would have mobile versions of the devices.

Dlamini-Zuma said it would be useless to steal someone's smart identity card. The thief would not be able to use it since the fingerprints would not match.

The smart cards had "hidden" security measures which would make duplication impossible, the minister said.

"There is no way you can duplicate this card; trying to forge the card would be a nightmare."

Another security feature of the card would be an embedded photo of the carrier that could not be replaced or changed, Dlamini-Zuma said.

  • Freddy - 2012-05-17 16:38

    How would this affect if any current holders of ID books?

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-05-18 02:58

    Honestly I don't have trust on H Off as yet but hoping for the best.

  • martin.pearce.3762 - 2012-06-08 18:22

    Can the dept of Horrible Affairs cope?

  • emkunene - 2013-02-22 13:16

    on this earth nothing can not be forge, if those people working in government are not reliable and trusted for the work they do especially those who work for the department of home affairs

  • emkunene - 2013-02-22 13:47

    Our Justice system has no power in so many things happening in this country because it seems as if every system in this country is still on trial there is nothing working hand in hand with our Justice to complete the services they render in the country, some of the thing which make hard for the justice system to work smoothly and effectively all kind of the human Right we have in this country is having a lot of imbalances of which many of them are causing a lot of trouble in this country, in my understanding a complete family must have Father, Mother and Children but in the country we have Womens Right and Children's Right I have never had of Mans Right according to me this is the source of man problems in this country and I can list so many things here which are the example of imbalance in this country and I do not wondering on this brutality we experience in this country. first I would like to give an advise to the South African Citizens man (male being) must be given the respect they deserve they must not be treated like the slaves in this country because the brutality in this country will not stop I am the one who also say we as man have to respect and protect Women and children but provide they give us the respect we deserve. In South Africa Men being treated as if men were enjoying freedom with white previously To have peace and the better community in South Africa we create good foundation for better family MANS RIGHT SHOULD BE PRONOUNCED LIKE EVERYBODY'S RIGHT

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