The Regional ID Document of The Year aims to promote the best in security printing, system infrastructure and implementation of a government passport, identity or other security card scheme.

The new South African national identity card, the public roll-out of which began in October this year, is not only regarded as state-of-the-art, security technology that will raise the level of identity management in South Africa, but also as a restorer of common citizenship to a nation that was, not so long ago, racially divided by ID documents from the apartheid-era.

The new card, which is made from a one-piece polycarbonate substrate, carries laser-engraved variable data, two kinds of optical security, luminescence, a second photo on the back, an embedded microchip, and two bar codes (one of which is for voting purposes).

The card is also seen as a major step towards cleaning up a national population register that harbours thousands of duplicate ID numbers. The award was received by Professor Anthony Mbewu, CEO of Government Printing Works.