The "smart card" identity document to replace the bar-coded one is on its way.
The cabinet is likely to get some indication of when the new secure technology to combat fraud will be in place at its January lekgotla.
This was said yesterday in parliament by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the minister of public service and administration, who gave an update on the government's performance in the cabinet's governance and administration cluster.
She conceded that she did not know when the new system will be in place, but said the cabinet will get a presentation from the minister of Home Affairs on the matter at its January get-together.
Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was not present at yesterday's briefing, but Fraser-Moleketi said a great deal of preparation work is being done, which will lay the basis for the introduction of the "smart card".
Her comments come in the wake of an increasing number of reports of fraud and corruption at Home Affairs offices around the country.
The department's offices are still using paper systems to capture the records of citizens and those applying for other documentation.
The department's goal is to have a completely paperless system.
The Home Affairs Identification System (Hanis) has already digitised 29,6million fingerprint records of a total of 30million hard-copy fingerprint records that needed to be recorded electronically.
All people applying for identity documents will have their fingerprints searched against this new electronic database. This will ensure that there can be no fraudulent duplicates.