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Gemalto to provide eID cards for South African identity card program


Gemalto will supply the Government Printing Work of South Africa with Sealys eID cards for the country’s national identity program.

According to the company, Government Printing Works will use Gemalto’s secure embedded software to protect the holder’s image and biometric data within the ID card. Specifically, the card from Gemalto that the Government Printing Works has chosen features a contactless chip.

Designed to modernize and replace South Africa’s traditional, paper-based ‘green book’ identity documentation, the new Sealys eID card will be offered by the Department for Home Affairs (DHA) to citizens aged 16 and over. The South African government embarked on this service program to improve confidence in official identity credentials and to prepare for the deployment of a comprehensive suite of efficient and convenient eGovernment services.

Gemalto has got a lot on the go these days, including its participation in over 80 national programs worldwide. The company’s Sealys eID card supports public key infrastructure and match-on-card authentication techniques for identity verification.

“Our local presence in Johannesburg provides a key benefit in ensuring a strategic partnership with the GPW,” said Ari Bouzbib, Senior Vice President of Government Programs at Gemalto. “This new project marks another significant acceleration in the momentum behind eGovernment initiatives on the continent, where Gemalto has already deployed a number of major programs.”

Reported earlier this week, Gemalto is also providing a smart card solution to a micro-banking project underway in Bangladesh.

“Gemalto demonstrated their proven ability to deliver high-end eID secure documents within an ambitious schedule,” said Professor Anthony Mbewu, CEO of GPW. “Plans are already in place for the next phases of the modernization program, and we are very confident in Gemalto’s deep expertise and state-of-the-art technology in supporting our future aspirations.”

In March, South African’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Suma said that smart ID cards could be in place by 2014, in place of the existing green identity books. 


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