Former President Nelson Mandela will be among the first recipients of the Smart ID Card scheduled to be launched at the Union Buildings in Pretoria today.
The launch of South Africa’s Smart ID Card was styled to form part of celebrations of international Nelson Mandela Day. Nelson Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, has emerged as an international day of giving of social healing with millions across the world going out of their way to help those in vulnerable social positions. The political icon turns 95 today after spending the past month in hospital.
The department of home affairs said the official launch of the Smart ID Card will take the form of a symbolic handing over of the Smart ID Card to former President Nelson Mandela, which will be received on his behalf by his daughter Zindzi Mandela.
The department said preparations for the launch of the Smart ID card, has seen government capturing biometric details, photographs and electronic signatures of President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and former Presidents Thabo Mbeki and FW De Klerk. They also captured Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Sophie de Bruyn, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg, Frene Ginwala.
“Accordingly, Nelson Mandela Day celebrations this year, which also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Rivonia Trial, will witness the handing over of the first batch of Smart ID Cards to senior leaders in and outside government as well as senior citizens of ages ranging between 80-90 years.
The launch of the Smart ID Card is part of efforts by the government to consolidate the restoration of national identity, citizenship and dignity that was denied to the majority of South Africans by successive racist regimes. Accordingly, the launch of the Smart ID Card is a culmination of decades of struggle against the hated pass laws and marks a decisive departure from the recent past history of South Africa”.