Published: 10 January 2018
Members of the media, I welcome all of you to our first briefing in the New Year. I trust you had a refreshing rest. We have convened this media briefing because we are deeply concerned about false reports on the lifespan of the green-barcoded ID books.
These reports, which first appeared towards the end of 2017, masquerade as a notice from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), and claim that 31 March 2018 is the termination date for using the old green-barcoded ID books. This had an effect of driving citizens, in great numbers, to Home Affairs offices to apply for smart ID cards in panic.
At the time, we had responded swiftly to say such reports are false, and do not come from us. We are again confronted with the same incorrect reports, from the beginning of January 2018, circulating largely on social media.
We therefore call upon members of the public to ignore these mischievous messages. Responding with panic affects our systems negatively, thus making it very difficult for us to deliver services as expected, professionally and in the most humane of ways. Among others, our offices in the KwaZulu-Natal Province can barely cope with the numbers. As you will indeed understand, these false messages are putting our offices under extreme pressure, unduly, as people rush there in their numbers to get smart ID cards……