ID card supplier warns on corruption

2013-06-21 08:00
Traditional ID books are to be replaced with smart cards. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Traditional ID books are to be replaced with smart cards. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pandor announces Home Affairs developments

2012-12-13 16:33

Among the announcements made by Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor, was that smart cards will soon be issued in lieu of ID books. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - New security technology does not guarantee that the issuing of identity cards will be free of corrupt practices, the supplier has asserted.

"It's a good point to renew and to re-enforce the quality of the security documents but if the processes before are weak, fraud will happen there," Eric Billiaert, communications director for government programmes at Gemalto told News24.

Gemalto, headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, won a contract to supply secure IDs for the department of home affairs that promises to make it more difficult to forge the document through a variety of technologies.

"There are two aspects which make this document more secure than the green barcode identity book you're used to. First of all, it's a brand new card made with a very specific material called polycarbonate.

"Polycarbonate is the material selected by most nations now for secure documents," said Billiaert.

Local systems

The ID card has integrated security features that include laser engraving of information, making it durable and difficult to forge.

"It's not simple to delaminate and it's very difficult to forge. And when you add something - modifying the picture for example - it's very difficult," Billiaert said.

He warned though, that while the new card was faster to produce, the local systems would prove critical when the rollout begins in July.

"It depends on the enrolment process and the internal process in the administration, but manufacturing the card and personalising it takes a few hours."

Gemalto will produce the cards in bulk and a local company, Allied Technologies Limited, will personalise the cards for individuals in partnership with the Government Printing Works.

"The equipment will enable the Government Printing Works to laser engrave the card owner’s photograph and other details onto the card in addition to ensuring that the card holder’s details are securely stored on the card’s microchip. This will eliminate the production and use of fraudulent IDs," said Derek Chaplin, managing director of Altech Card Solutions.


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