Smart cards on the way- minister

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

South Africans will have to start applying for new smart cards next year when the government begins phasing out the current identity documents.

This was announced yesterday by Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Fraser-Moleketi, pictured, claimed that the process of getting an ID now takes 68 days, from start to finish. She told parliament that this was a "clear success" because in the past it took more than 100 days on average.

Acting deputy director general: civic services at Home Affairs, Vusi Mkhize, could not say how much people would have to pay for a smart card.

"Yes, people will have to (pay) in the same way that there are costs for an ID book, but this still has to be worked out," he said.

Mkhize said the new system will be phased in over several years.

Fraser-Moleketi also told the media that steps were being taken to improve the performance of the public service.