Pandor: Smart ID cards are secure

Home Affairs is in the first phase of rolling out the new smart identity cards.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu receives his new identity documentation on 25 July 2013. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says the first phase of rolling out the new smart identity (ID) cards is underway.

These smart cards will replace the green ID books which have resulted in many people becoming the victims of identity theft.

Many women throughout the country have been fraudulently married without their knowledge.

Pandor told 567 Cape Talk that the new cards are sophisticated compared to the current IDs.

"It's a secure card in contrast to our ID books which are handled by human beings. People can fraudulently place details on the ID books; you can't do that with the card."

President Jacob Zuma, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have already received their smart cards.

"We've began the first phase now with the opening of three offices, two in Gauteng and one in Cape Town. We are beginning with 100,000 persons, made up of senior citizens, first time applicants, Members of Parliament and some of the leading personalities in the country."

Pandor also said the new process of acquiring an ID will be stricter compared to the current process.

"The beauty of the new ID card is that you have to present yourself to a centre for an application. We have to check your biometric details. So the system really seeks to authenticate the applicants from stage one."

Home Affairs says it will take five to 10 days to produce and deliver the new smart cards.

The cards will cost R140 but are free of charge to first-time applicants.