Home affairs says Smart ID fee is 'under discussion'

By Drum Digital
24 October 2013

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will decide whether to waive the fee for new smart ID cards, the home affairs department said on Thursday.

"As [Pandor] has indicated in Parliament, she is in discussion with National Treasury regarding fees for certain categories of persons that may be exempted," spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said.

Pandor had the legal authority to waive fees for acquisition of enabling documents for "certain categories of persons", if she deemed it necessary.

"In this regard, we would await the outcome of discussions between minister Pandor and minister Pravin Gordhan on the matter, which will chart the way forward and give direction on the matter," he said.

Mamoepa was responding to a Democratic Alliance statement saying a R140 fee for the re-issuing of smart IDs would disadvantage the poor. DA spokesman Manny de Freitas said R140 was the difference between survival and starvation for many South Africans.

"Imposing a new ID system on South Africa's citizens and then forcing them to pay for it puts a price on citizenship that not everyone can afford, and will exclude them from the employment market as well as electoral and social security processes once green barcoded ID books are phased out."

Mamoepa said at the moment 16-year-old first time applicants would receive the smart ID card for free, but others were expected to pay R140, the same price as a new green ID book.

"The process of rolling out the smart ID card will take a few years and thus government appeals to all to exercise patience. The public is advised to wait to be invited to apply in accordance with their dates of birth."

One of the first people to receive the new ID card was former president Nelson Mandela, who received his on his birthday, on July 18.

- by Sapa

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