The Home Affairs Department is faced with a challenge of young girls who give birth before getting Identity Documents (IDs). The department’s Director General, Tommy Makhode, says it becomes complicated when the young mothers who do not have identity documents have to apply for birth certificates for their babies.

Makhode was speaking at Tshikombani, outside Thohoyandou, in Limpopo during a campaign to urge youth of 16-year-olds and above to apply for identity documents.

Scores of young people around the country do not have identity documents due to various reasons.

Makhode says when young mothers don’t have IDs, it becomes to difficult to conduct birth registration for the children born to them.

“In most instances, you will find that some of these young children are having kids at quite an early age and it becomes difficult to then to conduct birth registration of the young one in this instance because you don’t want the child to be denied services. What you then do; you either found a guardian to this particular child or the mother to the child who will then be able to provide verification so that child can have an ID and then register for the birth certificate for the young child,” he says.

Makhode says they are working on a system, which will print birth certificates in a smart card form.

“We are working on a project called automated biometric information system, it’s a project that we started two years ago. What it will do, it will have integrated features of security. Amongst others, a small child will be able to record a palm of her hand and it will also include face recognition, include fingerprints all your biometric related activities.”

Smart IDs for children’s home

Makhode delivered smart card IDs to some children at Takalani Children’s home in Thohoyandou.

The children say having IDs will make it easy when they write Grade 12 examinations and apply for bursaries.

“My name is Mashudu Charles of Mbedzi. I thank you that I got the smart ID card today because I will be thing it in my pocket when I write for my Grade 12 and I will apply the bursary with my smart ID card. I am also going to vote because I have the card. And I will vote for the party that will serve the country. I am going to vote, we want water,” said one of the recipients.

Home Affairs is also doing late identity documents registration for children whose parents were verified to be South Africans to avoid issuing IDs to non-South Africans.