Limpopo centenarian receives ID card from Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi

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Residents at Letebejane village outside Lebowakgomo in Limpopo have made an impassioned plea to Home Affairs department to establish offices in their village. The poverty-stricken community members say they have to travel hundreds of kilometers to attain services from the department.

They said this during Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s visit to hand over ID cards to the elderly, including 103-year-old Gogo Malesela Mashilo.

Letebejane is tucked between valleys and mountains of Sekhunene district. Residents travel hundreds of kilometers to obtain services from government departments. With a high level of unemployment in the area, their financial strain is discernible. They have also asked the department of Home Affairs to ease bureaucratic red tape to make services more accessible.

“I have struggled to attain a birth certificate for my child. I spent a lot of money traveling and I have to ask for a day off work”

“I have been trying to change my children’s surname from their mother’s to mine. They told me it takes six months but now it’s going up to a year, I am frustrated.”

Home Affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says his department will provide mobile offices to ease the burden on residents.

It is in our program that no old people should be told to travel to their offices to get services. Instead, the department is reaching out to them by providing mobile offices” says Minister Motsoaledi.

Meanwhile, the family of Gogo Malesela Mashilo says it’s thrilled by the minister’s gesture.

“We are happy for gogo. It is an honour that the minister visited. We pray that gogo lives even longer”, says sister-in-law, Refelwe Mashilo.

Another senior citizen, 99-year-old Gogo Raisibe Bapela was also handed her ID card.  Possession of ID documents makes citizens realise their right to basic services such as social grants and participation in economic activities.

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