"The pilot [programme] was a success and in the new year we will make an announcement on the implementation of the smart ID card project," she said on Thursday.
The cost of the card had not yet been determined.
"The security features and the cost are still being discussed."
She said the cost would not exceed that of the current green bar-coded identity document, which the card would replace.
The minister said the department was discussing how to implement the process. One option would be to issue smart ID cards to first applicants.
The project, which was approved in 2001 and received R270-million, is likely to be implemented over the next four years. – Sapa