With the Department of Home Affairs currently in the process of rolling out the new smart ID cards, many elder citizens have been rushing to home affairs, out of fear that not having the new ID may hamper the payout of their pension. The roll out process sees the elderly required to visit home affairs during the month of their birth, to apply for the new ID.
However, the old green bar-coded IDs are still valid and pensioners are not required to have the new IDs in order to receive their pension. According to the department’s provincial manager in the Western Cape, Yusuf Simons, officials were still in the process of phasing in the Smart ID’s, a process that would likely take more than five years.
“We are starting with the elderly, and the Smart ID for them will be free. They don’t need to fear, if they don’t have their smart card they will stay be able to receive their pension payout,” he explained.
However, Simons said it was still advisable for pensioners to apply for the smart ID, noting it would greatly assist in the grant and pension process. He said the new ID made the system much more secure, eliminating the problem of ‘fraudulent identities’.
The smart ID is said to be the most secure document available at present, highlighting numerous security features that would effectively eradicate the risk of having one’s identity used or stolen by fraudulent individuals.
The new smart ID cards are currently available at home affairs offices in Wynberg and the city centre, but Simons said they were hoping to roll the process out to offices in Mitchells Plain and Bellville by October at the latest. The application process would be quick with people not required to take finger prints or complete any sort of forms.
“In the Bellville and Cape Town offices at the moment, we have a high influx, but we are busy installing two more workstations and we are redeploying staff to those offices as well. This will make it more convenient,” he said.
He also warned that those who have lost, or had their ID’s stolen, needed to go to their nearest police station and open a case.
“You need to get a case number so that your ID can be blocked and so that you have proof that the ID was stolen or you misplaced it. Then you immediately need to come into the home affairs offices and apply for a new one. We will then block that old ID from our system.” VOC (Mubeen Banderker)