Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba officially launched the new office in Commercial Street and handed some local celebrities their new smart ID cards.
One of the first to receive a new ID was former Springbok rugby captain and current Sharks chief executive John Smit, who was full of praise for the service he received when applying for his new ID.
“We’ve all had our fair share of frustrations coming to offices like these. I was well received. The guy who received me was better dressed than I was, spoke better than I did and was unbelievably helpful.”
Smit said he received an sms within a week of applying for his new ID but conceded that unlike him not everyone would receive their ID from the minister. Nevertheless, the process had been painless.
He said the smart ID showed how far the country had come.
Sharks captain Lubabalo “Tera” Mtembu also received his new smart ID.
“It’s a great initiative. I can remember when I got my ID book, it took about three months,” he said.
Currently, the aim was to provide those who had never had an identity document with the smart ID cards, along with pensioners.
The roll-out began in February this year.
Gigaba said in future the cards would be used for a variety of services such as collecting pensions or accessing other government services.
The department’s Umgeni Road office would be the next office to be converted to issuing smart IDs and passports.