South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Friday, 28 June

The Department of Home Affairs will soon announce plans to make the green barcode ID book in place of the smart ID card.
Images via DHA

Goodbye green barcode: Home Affairs to finally get rid of old ID book

Around 17 million South Africans will soon be forced to swop their green barcode ID books for smart ID cards when the former becomes invalid.

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Friday, 28 June

The Department of Home Affairs will soon announce plans to make the green barcode ID book in place of the smart ID card.
Images via DHA

After more than a decade since introducing the smart ID card, the Department of Home Affairs has finally announced plans to retire the green barcode ID book.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has urged South Africans to “upgrade” as an announcement will be made “very soon.”

The smart ID card was rolled out in 2013, and more than 21 million have since been issued to citizens.

GREEN BARCODE ID TO ‘SOON’ BECOME INVALID

Speaking to eNCA, Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi claimed that the rollout of the smart ID card – introduced in 2013 – was meant to take just two years.

He said of the department’s plans: “We want to do away with the green barcode ID. We think it’s long enough that we’ve kept dual identity documents. Very soon, we will make an announcement that we will keep one, and the other (green barcode) becomes invalid”.

Speaking to The South African, spokesperson Thabo Mokgola confirmed that green barcode ID books were still valid for now. He could not confirm when the announcement or expiration of the document.

According to MyBroadband, the department has issued smart ID cards to 55% of South Africans and was under pressure to roll out 17 million more, not accounting for any first-time ID applicants.

BENEFITS OF SMART ID CARD

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the smart ID card, unlike the green barcode ID, will help combat identity theft and fraudulent activities related to driver’s licenses, social grants, financial institutions, and insurance.

The new card is equipped with the following features:

  • A microchip that stores citizen’s biometric data like fingerprints and a photograph of their face
  • A “match on card” feature that will enhance citizen’s privacy.
  • Made from durable polycarbonate material

QUICK WAYS TO APPLY FOR A SMART ID CARD

The Department of Home Affairs has made it easier than ever for South Africans to apply for smart ID cards. This includes an online booking system where applicants can bypass long queues at their local branch.

A convenient date and time can be allocated, which will allow South Africans to complete a smooth and quick application process at their nearest Home Affairs branch. 

During the application process, citizens will hand over their green barcode ID when collecting their smart ID card.