A total of 10 million smart ID cards have been issued to South African citizens in the past five years, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.
“When the first card was issued, in 2013, around 38 million people had green-barcoded IDs. I am pleased to announce we now have issued 10 million smart cards. This, in spite of challenges in infrastructure, systems and staffing,” Gigaba said in a media briefing ahead of tabling his budget vote in Parliament.
The 10-millionth recipient of the ID smart card, Nomthandazo Maweni, was present in Parliament where a ceremonial handover of her new identity card was done.
Gigaba said while the department had come a long way, it would probably have to revise its target of totally eradicating the bar-coded IDs in the next five years.
“Of course, if you look at where we started in 2013, we have been picking up momentum but it is likely that we would not have reached 38 million conversions by 2023,” he said.