Home Affairs is finally ready to start rolling out its smart card-based identity system, with a first trial run on the cards for 2009.
Director-general Mavuso Msimang told a Parliament media briefing that the new technology would help to overcome the problem of forgery that the current ID books are prone to.
The smart card would have the bearer's photograph captured on to the card, with other information kept in the card on a chip.
The department is currently looking at the costs and durability of the new cards. Costs will be subsidised by government.