Smart ID roll-out to take time

The Department of Home Affairs says the process will take six or seven years.

Department of Home Affairs official scanning the new Smart ID card. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Home Affairs has urged South Africans to be patient during the rollout of the Smart identity cards.

Smart identity cards, which will replace the green, bar-coded identity books, were rolled out to first-time applicants and pensioners yesterday.

The department says it will take between six and seven years to phase out the old identity documents entirely.

Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa urged first-time applicants to apply for the Smart ID card.

There will be a rollout phase for all other South Africans.

The new cards feature advanced security features designed to prevent identity theft in the country.