South African Home Affairs on target to introduce Smart ID Cards in 2013

The Home Affairs Department of South Africa has issued 100 pilot Smart ID Cards in the first two quarters of this year, well on the way to hitting its target to roll out the Smart ID Card in 2013, allAfrica reported.

The Smart ID Card will replace existing civic and immigration identity systems and will allow the government to digitally capture all biometric and biographical data of South Africans in one single system.

“We are happy to announce that we are on track with plans to roll-out the Smart ID Card in 2013. Smart ID Card – watch it, it is coming!,” Mikuself Apleni, Director General of the Home Affairs Department said.

According to an article in The New Age from earlier this month, South African IT company Gijima was originally set to produce the Smart ID Cards, but a bitter dispute between the Department of Home Affairs and Gijima over spiraling costs has complicated their deployment and Gijima’s involvement. Former Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Suma said the new smart cards would be instead produced within the government by the Government Printing Works.

As previously reported in BiometriUpdate.com, The National Identity Management Commission of Nigeria has announced a similar system, looking to register 100 million Nigerians in its recently introduced biometric database system and introduce a National Smart Card over the next 30 months.

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