HumanIPO reported earlier this year on the announcement of re-issuing South African IDs as cards to replace booklets.
Amsterdam-based Gemalto was given a contract by the Department of Home Affairs.
The initial idea of the ID replacement relied strongly on the minimisation of security risks, as it was thought forgery would be more difficult.
Eric Billiart, communication director for government programmes, told News24: “It’s a good point to renew and to reinforce the quality of the security documents but if the processes before are weak, fraud will happen there.”
Billiart explained polycarbonate, the material from which the card will be manufactured, holds the advantage of lower fraud risk than the green barcode identity book used traditionally in South Africa.
The material’s durability makes it difficult to engrave information or forge.
"It's not simple to delaminate and it's very difficult to forge. And when you add something - modifying the picture for example - it's very difficult," Billiaert said.
Although faster production of the new card is possible, local systems will play an important role in the launch planned for July.
While personalisation will only take a few hours, local administration will determine enrolment and internal processes.
While Gemalto will bulk produce the cards, engraving will be managed by Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) as partner of the Government Printing Works.
Explaining the process of photo printing and personal information engraving, Derek Chaplin, managing director of Altech Card Solutions, said: “This will eliminate the production and use of fraudulent IDs."