The South African government has reaffirmed that the green barcoded identity (ID) book will be phased out and replaced with a new smartcard ID after Cabinet endorsed a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) pilot project to test the hardware and software used to produce the cards. The new card would be phased in over a period of about four years and would embrace a contactless chip, which Cabinet said was based on international trends and standards.
The smartcard solution would also be integrated with the deployment of a new National Identity System that would digitally capture biometric and biographical details of all South Africans and foreign nationals living inside South Africa. Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma reported recently that the integrated system would be linked to systems for movement control, permitting, as well as asylum seeker and refugee management.
The DHA planned to issue some 2 000 smartcard ID’s during the pilot phase, which was unveiled to lawmakers earlier in the month. The pilot phase would prioritise people applying for IDs for the first time and was likely to cost about R5-million.
The first issue of the smartcard would be free of charge, with the cost implications for reissuance yet to be determined.The test phase would enable the department to test its systems and enable government to procure the required machinery to produce the volume of cards that will be required to phase out the green barcoded ID books. No indication was given as to when a tender would be issued for the procurement of the full-scale system, or what the solution was likely to cost.
The department would collaborate with the Departments of Transport, Health and Social Development to integrate the smartcard with other official documents, such as drivers and firearm licences, social grants and those that would be associated with access to the proposed National Health Insurance scheme. Source: Creamer Media
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