The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Ms Fatima Chohan,on Monday, 30 October 2017, handed over a Smart ID card to South Africa’s Ambassador to Italy, Ms Tembi Tambo, as part of the commemorations marking the centenary of her father, the late Oliver Reginald Tambo.

The Department of Home Affairs engaged the Tambo family in recent weeks to encourage members to apply for Smart ID cards. It was timed to coincide with the centenary year of the South African icon as a tribute to the struggles waged OR Tambo and his wife, Ms Adelaide Tambo in pursuit of human rights, citizenship and justice for all.

The initiative is also part of the general drive by Home Affairs to get all South Africans to apply for smart IDs. The Deputy Minister has handed over Smart ID cards to various sectors including learners, youth, senior citizens and veterans.

The Department will work with various institutions and groups in the next few months to create awareness on the importance of attaining the smart IDs. Presently, the Department is engaging the family of the late Ahmed Timol and learners from Manenberg on the Cape Flats, as part of its rollout.

“It is important for us to pay tribute to leaders such as Oliver and Adelaide Tambo, so that we can reflect on their values and the sacrifices they made to move the country forward. It is through their efforts, alongside many South Africans, that their children and grandchildren and millions of South Africans now have basic rights previously denied said Ms Chohan.

The availability of ID documents to all South Africans became reality during the democratic era. During apartheid, they were only extended to some South Africans while the black majority had to endure the indignity of the pass or Dompas.

South Africans were humiliated daily as they faced arrest and prosecution for simply being in prohibited areas without a Dompas.

In 1994, the process was started to restore the dignity of black South Africans and ID documents became available to all.

With the advent of the smart card, the four machines printing the cards were named after Sophie de Bruyn, Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph, and Lilian Ngoyi, leaders of the 1956 anti-pass laws march.

The Smart ID cards are more convenient than the current IDs and it is much safer since personal information is carried in a computer chip in the card. The chip cannot be stolen from your card, and neither can the information in it be duplicated. They will drastically reduce the potential for identity fraud.


For media enquiries contact:

Thabo Mokgola on 060 962 4982 or

David Hlabane on 071 527 9463 or

Mansur Jaffer on0846615216 (Parliamentary and Media Liaison Officer for the Deputy Minister)