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Smart ID roll-out begins

Home Affairs says first-time applicants who are 16-years-old and above should begin applying from today.

The Department of Home Affairs says the roll-out of the smart ID cards to all South Africans will take a few years. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Smart identity cards, to replace the green bar-coded identity books are being rolled out to first-time applicants and pensioners from Saturday.

The Department of Home Affairs says the roll-out of the smart ID cards to all South Africans will take a few years.

It says South Africans should be patient as the process gets underway.

Home Affairs says first-time applicants who are 16-years-old and above should begin applying from today.

There will be a roll-out phase for all other South Africans.

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

Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says it will take six or seven years to phase-out all the old identity documents.

"The roll-out of the smart identity cards to all eligible South Africans will take a few years."

The pre-printed polycarbonate cards contain a microchip.