ID smartcards not far off

2012-04-25 22:38

Cape Town - A pilot project to replace identity documents with smartcards will start in about six months, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Wednesday.

Dlamini-Zuma, who showed off her own smartcard to journalists ahead of her budget speech in Parliament, said the cards would go a long way towards stamping out corruption in the home affairs department.

"We decided it is high time we move from the dompass to the smartcard," Dlamini-Zuma said.

"At the moment we are in the identification document, which is a transition from the dompass to the smartcard. The smartcard will allow citizens to have modern identification card rather than the outdated book, which is easy to forge and interfere with."

Dlamini-Zuma said the card was still in the pilot phase, but that by the time it was rolled out, the department wanted to have dealt with "all the possible hiccups and technical issues".


"Already we are very happy with the product we have. This will be a card that nobody will be able to forge. If they try, we will be able to distinguish between the forged and real card."

The card would be linked to a system containing all the department's data, including the population register and information on refugees and immigrants.

"When we have this one system, you can tell in real time if a person is a foreigner and what status they have. They won't be able to move from one category to another, even if they were able to bribe someone."

The pilot phase roll out to the public would start with people applying for identification documents for the first time. The machines the department had for the project were "small" and able to roll out only about three million cards a year.

"In six months, we will start producing those, but that will be in the pilot phase. We need machines, which would take 18 months to manufacture to our specifications. We think in two years we can start the bigger roll out."

The first phase of the project cost about R5m. The second phase, with the larger, still-to-be-built printing machines, would raise the cost of the project.


The smaller machines were already being used to print cards for airline crew member certificates, similar to smartcards. The card would cost "more or less" the same as an identity book.

Dlamini-Zuma said different information could be loaded onto the chips of the cards.

"For the driver's licences, for instance, it might be we print them, but it might be a separate one. A driver's licence you have to change every five years and so on. Those are discussions that are taking place."

The cards, which contained high-level security features, could be printed "instantly" and would take "a few weeks to deliver".

Home affairs officials would be able to read information on a card by placing it close to a mobile card reader that used a radio frequency to communicate with the chip.

The reader would also take a person's fingerprints and instantly provide identity details to the officials.

  • Wilma Crous - 2012-04-25 22:48

    More ways to make money out of us!!

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-04-25 23:03

      I take a wild guess here but somewhere along the line the tender has already been promised to someone with links to the president. Proof me wrong , please.

      boramk - 2012-04-26 00:58

      Read the article Wilma, it will COST THE SAME. Are you upset that we are finally getting ID cards and catching up with the rest of the world?

      Dave - 2012-04-26 05:01

      It is easy to clone a crit card and this one will be just as easy to clone and steal an identity.

      Koos - 2012-04-26 05:16

      The Titanic couldn't sink either. @boramk: The first phase of the project cost about R5m. The second phase, with the larger, still-to-be-built printing machines, would raise the cost of the project. Although the making of the card will be the same the machines to do it cost more as they still have to be procured. I read a long time ago(when Mac and his cousin Schabir) when they started with the new barcode ID's(Shaik's company) that it will align itself to do the ID Cards. The barcoded books were an interim measure to hide the cost of the cards when it eventually came out.

      Wesley - 2012-04-26 05:29

      I thought goverment want to create jobs, how many fraudster will be out of jobs when this cards are issued, well at least for the first few months. Perhaps home affairs will include retraining for them to create forged cards

      Walter - 2012-04-26 06:04

      There's a lot of negativity about this, but really, it's time to improve the present system isn't it? Currently there are too many loopholes and I support the issue so long as there IS NO corruption and prevents fraud and other criminal activity...... especially by foreigners.

      Koos - 2012-04-26 07:02

      They took your licence out of your ID because there were too many false licences around. The licence card was forced onto the users as the card that would solve their problems apart from making millions for Mac and Shaik. Did it help?

      Paddy - 2012-04-26 07:02

      @boramk: The costs will be the same! What did you put in your coffee? Remember the arms deal? Those costs stayed the "same" didn't they? And the toll roads never went one cent over budget. The World Cup stadiums all came in on target. Ja, Well, No, Fine.

      elewies - 2012-04-26 08:30

      @Walter- Who cares if the system is out of date?! Do we not have much much much MUCH more important issues to sort out? Housing for the poor??? How's that going? Rescuing the education system? Maybe use the money to improve medical services for the poor? Investing in actual infrastructure? Maybe even drafting a f#####g LONG TERM, sustainable, realistic strategy that will ensure job creation??? Use the money to secure our borders? OR what about providing water and electricity to those who still don't have access to it?

  • abed26 - 2012-04-25 23:01

    I can't wait, this booklet's time has passed:)

      Gary - 2012-04-26 09:31

      The booklet IS outdated, but the real issue here is dodgy home affairs officials are issuing legit documents to dodgy people. So I don't see how this will solve any problems.

      Kala - 2012-04-26 09:52

      We are going to wait. Now we will have to go stand in long queues at home affairs and deal with the unfriendly official behind the counter all the while getting plagued by someone trying to sell you everything from ID photos to pencils. And once you have your ID card will it need to be renewed every 5 years like the "unforgable" driver's license, which costs R270 to get renewed and literally a whole day to sort out.

  • Gareth - 2012-04-25 23:01

    If they end up costing the same it's a good idea. A lot easier to carry around, and can then just keep it in the wallet. If it costs more though, then I do not want.

      Martin - 2012-04-26 07:27

      im with you, i dont mind this at all, gonna try get a decent photo for a change hahah, i look like a ballbag in every official photo ever taken

  • nhlanhla.petro2 - 2012-04-25 23:08

    This will maybe improved preventing our female citizens marrying foreign males without agreement/engagement dankie

  • Boy Bana - 2012-04-26 00:20

    wake up home affAirs. zim has these indestructible id cards over 10 years ago. just ask them about it.

  • trumpi - 2012-04-26 00:47

    I read in the article that this card uses radio communication. If it uses RFID, then I hope that the Department has a plan to combat skimming.

      Guy - 2012-04-26 07:41

      I agree. It would not be difficult to hold a "mobile card reader" in a crowded shopping center and keep track of everyone that walks past. I suggest that we all invest in RFID proof wallets. (Wrap aluminium foil around your ID card)

      Wes - 2012-04-26 08:25

      Not only that what about planting viruses, trojans etc as Im sure one day in the not to distant future the new id will be scanned in at your bank when you want to open new accounts etc. Just a thought it could even be used to track you or is that too far fetched i.e. etoll

      zane.zeiler - 2012-04-26 09:03

      @ Wes, yes if it uses RFID it would be very easy to track someone through the RFID readers and scanners infrastructure that is bound to follow, for the virus part, as far as I know most RFID chips use ROM (read only memory) so I doubt you would be able to infect it with a virus, even if you could it would not affect your data on the chip for it has no hardware or operating system for the virus to use to carry out its function.

      Wes - 2012-04-26 11:20

      Thanks hondbyt for the positive answer at least you know what RFID is I don't but will check it out lol. The tracking bit is scary in a pro communist state though.

      raath - 2012-04-26 12:39

      Nothing a little EMI can't remedy ;)

      Wes - 2012-04-26 13:15

  • Dean - 2012-04-26 03:58

    from toronto. next thing you know they will try to microchip your body. right out of the book of revelation.

      Jayson - 2012-04-26 06:12

      @Dean I was thinking the same thing while reading this article. They are already micro chipping solders for identification. Its a scary thought. I think we are heading in that direction sooner than we think.

      joathanj - 2012-04-26 07:06

      I thnk u guys r 'smart' lol. No pun intented.

  • Dennis - 2012-04-26 04:42

    Unless you are giving it to me without charging me, hand delivering it AND not forcing me to go to your office, I will stick to my dompass thanks !!

  • Victor - 2012-04-26 05:06

    Issued free by the government because I am sick and tired of forking out money for hair brained schemes that dont work !!!!!!!!

  • Brian - 2012-04-26 06:08

    Someone already mentioned the "tender". It is a sad reflection on our "leaders" (and again, as is happening with alarming regularity, I use a word in tthe most extreme broadest sense of the word)that we immediately think of them in that tone, as it were. They are addressing the symptom rather thsn the root cause of the problem. This is an admission that corruption is out of control, and there is no system of process that can counter it. I can guarantee that there will be fake and/or duplicate smart cards available in a very short period. In any place or in any culture or country for that matter, where humans are involved, there will be a measure of dishonesty. It is how we manage that, that makes the difference. One can have all the smartest systems in the world, but if the human componenent is managed in a lackadaisical way, well we see the result, don't we. For a country that is basically an economic disaster, can we afford all these schemes that in all likelihood won't solve the problem?

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 09:04

      dont know what economic disaster you are talking about, the economy performed much better compared to grecee, uk and portugal. get your facts straight or just stay in bed making love to your wife or mistress

  • Carry - 2012-04-26 06:18


  • Carry - 2012-04-26 06:30


      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 09:01

      a good step towards tracking the criminals you are talking about, the same system is used by the FBI. e collar crime must be dealt with using technology i see nothing wrong with these smart cards but only politics influencing your judgement and not been objective

  • Raymond - 2012-04-26 06:36

    How the hell are the words 'home affairs' and 'smart' used in the same sentence?

      xozamandi - 2012-04-26 08:29

      they tried here in U.K when Labour Party was in power, but the new government abolished them a lot of money, it did't work, they link your data to the police, vehicle authorities, home affairs, so they don't gather your data from one source even more than I mentioned here.

  • Piet - 2012-04-26 06:51

    boramk ID book = R20 Smartcard = R170 not the same now is it?

      Koos - 2012-04-26 07:04

      Seems that BoramKim is another product of the ancESTORAL Education Disaster.

      sean.efstratiou - 2012-04-26 07:50

      don't know when you last went for your id book but it is at R164 for that little green book, if not more.

      Anthony - 2012-04-26 08:50

      where are all you people buying your ID books . Oh and it is R20 to renew your ID book . I wouldnt know how much it costs to get a new one . Also it took me 2 years to get my green ID , how much longer will i wait for a smart card haha

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 08:58

      dont know where you got your price figures but i think you might be under the influence of alcohol or superiority. check the depratment of home affairs url for exact price figures

      Piet - 2012-04-26 09:15

      This was manufacturing costs as discussed on 702 this morning, not what you are going to pay for it at home affairs. That shock still awaits us.

  • jason.x.judge - 2012-04-26 07:14

    Don't be naive. This is the first step to the government tracking your every move. step 1, give everyone trackable documents. step 2 install scanners all over the place. step 3. Hello 1984. combined with your cellphone (which you already take everywhere) they (big brother) will know where you are at all times. They will deny it, but that doesn't make it untrue. be warned!

      sean.efstratiou - 2012-04-26 07:49

      lol they will never have the know how to track or man (brain) power to pull that off.

  • jason.x.judge - 2012-04-26 07:15

    oh, and this will lead to a whole new kind of ID theft. now, crims wont have to steal your ID book to find out who you are, they'll just need to scan your ID remotely. Game over.

  • ac.nortje - 2012-04-26 07:26

    Finally, a shot at getting a better picture on my ID.

  • elmushka - 2012-04-26 07:41

    I don t thing that new id is to avoid fraud or forge it about riching the world new order just like their do to passport is the same with Id were everything is conect to control th move of th peoples\r\nBiometric passport\r\n\r\nBiometric I'd with scan barcode\r\n.

  • sean.efstratiou - 2012-04-26 07:47

    I say Finally !! carrying that little green book around has been a pain in my A$$ for many years, I've had a European ID card for over 5 years now and it's ALLOT better to carry around

  • ettienne.hattingh - 2012-04-26 07:48

    Suck me even more dry. My pockets are empty. I will have to beg on the streets on of these days.

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 08:50

      then go to australia because everything is free the. you lack listening skills during the press conference she clearly stated that it will cost the same amount as for the current ID book for replacement.

  • Koos - 2012-04-26 07:51

    I have seen “dumb” Africans circumvent a system a fireproof system within one hour and defraud a system within two. Never think and African is “dumb” and NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER say a system is fool proof or tamper proof in Africa.

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 08:53


      Koos - 2012-04-26 11:33

      You don't rally want me to answer that do you.

  • Evelyn - 2012-04-26 08:01

    Identity document to be replaced with unforged smartcard? All the best SA, can't wait....

  • waheed.parker - 2012-04-26 08:04

    Same as driver's licence cards: The tender will go to some politically connected guy.

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 08:54

      even the DA gave an advertising tender worth billions to politically connected individuals in cape town so what? if you are an indian you are suffering from identity crisis

      Piet - 2012-04-26 09:17

      Khiliso you can rant all you like, the ANC is rotten to the core!

      ettienne.hattingh - 2012-04-26 10:35

      @ Khuliso. I see you from Limpopo. Another Malema Pig. It speaks volumes from the comments you are making.

  • Phumi - 2012-04-26 08:22

    There is nothing new here! This is the same scheme that made GijimaAst more filthy rich. Mr. Mangosothu Buthelezi the leader of the IFP when he was a home affairs minister announced this initiative in the 90's and a feasibility study was done. When the new leadership came in at that department they corruptly gave this tender to a politically connected Mr. Gumede of Gijima. Who sub contracted it to IBM to deliver this and the failed 'Who I am Online' project. Instead of delivering they were awarded with golden handshakes in billions for doing vokol! We hope the taxpayer and ordinary South Africans who are unemployed are not going to caugh-up a cent for this so called revolutionary roll out!

  • Bobo - 2012-04-26 08:37

    Hahahah and the Mrs. looks verry much alike..

  • Hugh - 2012-04-26 08:41

    I cannot believe that people actually subcribe to this BS. Home affairs and any one that is crooked enough to steal one of your machines will have access to your information and be able to track you on an hourly basis. The type of thing smart cards can do. 1] It can proof every transaction. 2] Carry detailed information for SARS such as banking and credit tarnsactions. 3] Enable an ENATIS type database call in the evnt of unpaid traffic fines. 4] Issue police alerts for any reason. In short whatever the government wants that card to do it can be programmed to do. I strongly suggest that before you say YIPPEE put aside you trust in mankind and the honestly that you think exists. Think can we trust this government in light of RICA being used by SABC to track you to warn that you have paid your TV LICENCE when it was seemingly only for tracking criminal activity. Imagine the possiblities

  • Tshikani - 2012-04-26 08:42

    ID Smartcards soon

  • Gogs Lombard - 2012-04-26 09:10

    Two year roll-out plan. What they are saying is that it will take that long to register the BEE company that will win the tender to eventually supply the ID cards.

  • khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-04-26 09:12

    keep on with your prophecy of a doomed SA. you racist afrikanner are doomed you remind me of this American chap who predicts the world is coming to an end first it was 2000, then 2010. then why dont you just immigrate before the country is doomed. wish you all the best in your future endevour and contributing positively to the country (SA) or the country you decide to make your new home. may the almighty bless you and your family. with love

      Piet - 2012-04-26 09:20

      Not doomed Khuliso, but it will turn into another Failed state if the people keep on voting for the ANC. An no I do not want to see the DA with a majority either, but it must start to get cut throat

      Melania - 2012-04-26 09:41

      In all your posts you reek of racism against the afrikaners. I have read all the posts on this thread and haven't found one racist post by an Afrikaner. They have just stated their valid concerns. Why can't you just state why they shouldn't have concerns. If you do your math properly anyway, you would realise that most of us don't want to pay for a new I'd. We would like the same rate as the renewal rate. That's hardly very complicated. But yet you just keep on ranting for who knows what. I know a lot of Afikaners doing their best uplifting this country and its people. Start to see the positive side. You will get a lot of trolls on this site, but believe me, the majority of Afrikaners are just trying to live life same as every body else. The guys here who are racist are really just attention seekers. I don't want to move. I was born here In SA. I will continue working hard here.

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-04-26 09:30

    Yeah another great initiative by the department of home affairs, just can't wait to have it handy. They just need to ensure that everyone has it

  • Antipoaching - 2012-04-26 10:38

    This must be resisted at all cost! A birth-to-death card, controlling huge chunks of your life in the hands of any govt is to be resisted! When this idea was first floated there was the brilliant idea of linking your bank account to the same card, thereby giving govt 100% access to your life. I've said it before, I say it now, all that has changed in SA is the skin-tone of the oppressor!

  • Loo - 2012-04-26 10:52

    FFS.. How much MORE TAX do you want us to pay ???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steve - 2012-04-26 12:35

    They build hi-tech cars today with the best anti-theft devices and very shortly thereafter, a cunning thief with buddies at the factories where they manufacture these great anti-theft devices, steals one of these unstealable cars. What's to say the same thing won't happen with these i.d. cards. The present system of renewing a driver's licence every five years is a money-making scam and they said then, that if was foolproof. Kiss my butt on the N1.

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-26 21:25

    Oh really?? Home affairs hasn't even captured my wife's temporary residency papers into their system that we submitted over a year ago!!!!!

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-26 21:26

    I don't understand why we need this crap too. Your ID number is on your drivers license card, that should be enough.

  • Stefaans - 2012-05-10 21:33

    Guess who's got the tender..... Another tipical Nigerian scheme.

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