Farm dwellers in North West struggle with applying for IDs

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Some farm dwellers in Phaposane village near Ganyesa in the North West province, say they cannot access services of the Department of Home Affairs. They say they are being sent from pillar to post by government officials, when they want to apply for identity documents or birth certificates.

Their challenges include that incorrect information is initially captured by health officials when babies are born.

Phaposane village is one of 82 villages under the Ganyesa-based Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality. Some residents survive by working on nearby farms while others depend on social grants.

Residents say, the lack of supporting documents and the filing of incorrect information by government officials, make it difficult for them to get adequate services from the Department of Home Affairs. Due to this, they are unable to receive social grants.

“I tried so many times to get birth certificates for my children at home affairs and I could not get help. So I need help to get assistance from home affairs.” says one community member.

Another says, “I gave birth at Tlakgameng clinic and I was given forms that were incorrectly filled and I went to home affairs, that’s were I was told that this forms are incorrectly filled. And I went back to the clinic and I got another form and went back to department. I was told to the committee that represent children and I was told the committee that represent the age of my children is not present.”

Sixty-year-old John Sisinogang does not have an identity document. He is unemployed and survives by doing odd jobs in the village. He lost his ID when his house was gutted by fire years ago.

He says, life is difficult because he cannot receive grants from government and will not be able to vote either.

“I struggle a lot and I used to travel a lot. The only identification that am left with is the one that was used during former Bophuthatswana. I used to have it and it was lost. So I request government to assist me so that I can appear on government system and also to vote.”

The Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality says, it is compiling a list of those who do not have identification. Once the process is complete, it will engage the Department of Home Affairs.

Takatso Senyem, spokesperson for the municipality says, “When we are done with Home Affairs, we are going to ensure that we engage with Sassa to make sure that we register those particular people to get what is due to them, to get what government has promised them. So we are certainly working around the clock ensuring that every citizen who lives in Kagisano Molopo regardless of how far you are. We will ensure that you must have what government requires you to have to get benefits.”

The Department of Home Affairs has failed to respond to numerous media enquiries on the matter.

Phaposane villagers unable to access Home Affairs services: