- YYMMDD – Pretty straight forward, this is simply you date of birth.
- SSSS – This is a sequential number registered from 0000 – 4999 for females and 5000 – 9999 for males. So if you share a birthdate with someone this number will differentiate you from them.
- C – this number simply shows if the person is a permanent resident. A 0 here represents a South African citizen, a 1 shows a non-SA-born permanent resident.
- A – Prior to 1994 this unit was used to indicate the holder’s race as follows – remember that black citizens were not issued with ID documents under Apartheid law.
0 = White
1 = Cape Coloured
2 = Malay
3 = Griqua
4 = Chinese
5 = Indian
6 = Other Asian
7 = Other Coloured
- Post-apartheid the racial classification was done away with and all existing ID numbers under this format were re-issued with either an 8 or 9.
- And finally, was with all barcodes the last digit is the checksum used to validate the code, which works using the Luhn algorithm.
The HANIS Project by the Department of Home Affairs was ‘implemented’ back in 1997 in a bid to rework the national ID system as there were issues with duplicate numbers. However despite a large amount of money spent there seems to date not to have been any progress towards ‘Smart Card ID’s’ which would eliminate this.