News24

Smart ID cards next year

2010-04-14 22:20

Cape Town – The "smart" ID card, which will encode personal and biometric information on a credit-card-sized identity document, is to be revived next year according to the Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

She told a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday that the cancellation of the previous smart card project was "a blessing in disguise" because it enabled the department to plan more efficiently for the card's introduction.

"Our infrastructure in the front-line offices was not ready to deal with the mass production of the smart card," she said.   

This year will become a year of preparation, she said. "We are going to be preparing our front-line offices. We will be rolling out live capture.

When we introduce the smart card we would like to capture our information on-line and not on paper.

Her deputy, Malusi Gigaba, told the briefing that the government printing works is being readied to mass-produce the cards.     

Security printing

"We intend to position the government printing works as a strategic player in the smart card and passport business in the security printing sector," Gigaba said.

"We are developing the capacity do security printing for government, and hopefully for other governments whether in our region or in the continent."

He said that the printing works were commissioned by the African Union to produce smart cards for AU officials and passports for its diplomats.

"It has also been asked by SAA to do the crew member certificate, which will, in a way be a smart card," Gigaba said.

"So there is some work that is already taking place, in developing the skills base and bringing on board the technological base infrastructure."