Home Affairs starts distributing smart ID cards

2014-02-01 10:59

Smart identity cards, which will replace the green, bar-coded identity books, will be given to first-time applicants and pensioners from today, the department of home affairs has said.

“The roll-out of the smart ID cards to all eligible South Africans will take a few years and the department accordingly makes an appeal for the public to exercise patience,” spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

First-time applicants who are 16 and older were eligible to apply for the smart ID from this month, he said.

Pensioners who are 60 and older and who were born during January and February were also eligible to apply for the smart ID card from today.

From next month, pensioners who are 60 or older can start applying for the smart ID cards in accordance with their dates of birth, Mamoepa said.

All other South African citizens would be invited to apply.

Applications for the smart ID card can only be made at 28 departmental offices across the country.

It would take six or seven years to phase out the old ID books.

South African company Altech Card Solutions won the R40 million tender to supply the Government Printing Works with card personalisation machines and an automated mailing solution, manufactured by DataCard in the US.

Identity card manufacturer Gemalto Southern Africa won the R199 million tender to supply pre-printed polycarbonate cards containing a contactless microchip.

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