Feeds

South Africa pushes electronic ID cards

Nice big project

Boost IT visibility and business value

The South African government is planning to speed up the introduction of electronic ID cards and passports, according to reports, in an effort to crack down on identity fraud. The switchover is expected to cost the government around R1.5bn (around £127m).

ID books are already commonplace in South Africa, and include a photograph and the finger print of the holder. This new legislation would swap the existing paper-based format for a credit card-style ID card with the biometric data stored on a chip, with the transition beginning in six months' time.

But the process, which is expected to take around five years, looks set to be anything but simple. One concerned reader told us:

"We currently have compulsory ID books - large parts of the population don't have one, because they can't afford them (and the new one is about 10 time more expensive). Many still haven't converted from the previous format to the current one, which has now been compulsory for about 10 years.

The new-style ID card will cost R120. Minimum wage in South Africa is R4.10 per hour Costs have not been announced for the new passports.

South Africa recently updated its driving licence system with citizens being called to update their documents by birth month. Those late to re-register had to queue for up to 12 hours for their credit-card style licences.

A spokesman for the department of home affairs told IOL.co.za that the current ID book is too easy to forge. He also warned that delays in launching the new system have given forgers a head start: "The slow process has opened a gap for people running scams to take advantage of the situation," he said.

Barry Gilder, the director-general in the department of home affairs, said that transferring the biometric data and biographical information to a chip will make the cards impossible to fake. If so, it would be something of a first.

Gilder acknowledges that the switchover will be "a mammoth task, far bigger than anything we saw while driver's licences were being converted". ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?