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BREAKING: SA Green ID Book Accepted Indefinitely!

Author: Melissa Cohen
Date: 2017-11-27
The SA green identity book is valid indefinitely, despite recent allegations by the Department of Home Affairs. We investigate.
Don't believe everything you hear! The SA Department Of Home Affairs(DHA) has denied a recent claim that appeared on social media. The post read that the SA green ID book will no longer be valid after March 31, 2018. The Department has confirmed that this is a hoax. They have assured citizens that the green book will remain valid until further notice. Want to know more? We find out.  
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The Good, Old Green Book

This green identity book, otherwise known as "the book of life", has been around for quite sometime. Many complained that this book was not secure enough, as it was easy to use for identity fraud. Nowadays, the 'ID Smart Card' is a small and compact identity card that is equipped with security features comparable to IDs in Europe and America. Although DHA will eventually require that all citizens change to the smart identity card, they have said that this transition process will take some time. They have not announced the expiry date of the green books as of yet. "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 Smart ID cards at their nearest offices," explained DHA in a statement after the hoax release.

Want A Smart Identity Card? 

The DHA has encouraged citizens who still don't have a smart card to head to one of their 180 departmental offices around the country. If that seems like a mission, you can now register for your ID through the DHA website.  If that's not enough, DHA has formed a partnership with some of South Africa's biggest banks. Through First National Bank, Standard Bank, Nedbank and ABSA, customers can register for their ID card without having to stand in long queues at Home Affairs.  
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So What Does My ID Number Mean? 

Have you ever wondered what that thirteen digit number that you've most probably memorized means? Well, finally we are breaking down each digit so that you know exactly what you stand for. The 13-digit unique number is made up in the following code :YYMMDDSSSSCAZ. Each letter in the code symbolizes something. This is what they mean:
  • The first six digits symbolize your date of birth, starting from your year to the date;
  • The next four digits define your gender. Females range anything from (0000-4999) and males range between (5000-9999);
  • The next digit shows your SA citizenship status. Zero represents a South African citizen, whereas one expresses permanent residence;
  • The next digit was used during apartheid times to classify your race, however this has since been changed to an eight;
  • The last digit represents the outcome of the Luhn algorithm formula used to calculate the accuracy of the number sequence.
The diagram below represents the information explained above:  

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