The Department of Home Affairs has dismissed as false, tweets claiming that the green, barcoded, South African identity book was reaching the end of its lifespan.
"No such announcement has been made by the department. We wish to make it clear that the green barcoded ID book remains a legal form of identification and will continue to be until such time that the live capture system is rolled out to all home affairs offices to enable South Africans to apply for the smart ID cards at their nearest offices," department spokesperson David Hlabane said.
The tweet, purporting to be an official departmental announcement, claims that the lifespan of the identity books comes to an end on March 31, 2018 and urges South Africans to apply for their smart IDs
But Hlabane said the department had developed a plan to systematically phase out the green ID book and ultimately consolidate the restoration, common citizenship, identity and dignity to South Africans.
The department called on all South Africans to continue to apply for the smart ID card at any of its 180 offices that are equipped to roll the Live Capture System.
Hlabane said the department had also established a partnership with FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank and ABSA banks to create an online portal where clients could lodge their applications without visiting home affairs offices.
South Africans can also visit the department's website www.dha.gov.za and click on the eHomeAffairs icon to apply.