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Frustrated Single Mother Opens Up About Tough Life With ID

Ntombi Zilungile Mqikela has been frustrated for so many years trying to get an Identity document.
This mother of three says she’s tried all things possible to get an identity document, but all efforts failed.

“This burden of not having an I.D has taken away my rights to take care of my children and provide for them, it has even prevented my grand child from attending creche, “ 

I could not apply for covid 19 relief grant, or even get food parcel, the lockdown has made it even harder to request for my kid to come to visit”.

“Now I look like I’m giving my kids away because I’m not a responsible mother, please assist me I can’t continue like this,” said teary Mqikela

She also had to giveaway her kids to be raised by relatives while she’s still alive because she can’t provide for them.

“Two of my kids have birth certificates, I Had to give them away to their paternal side of the family, to be raised by their father’s relatives” they have different fathers and stay in different towns.”

According to section 29 of South Africa’s constitution, everyone has the right to basic education. This right places a duty on the state to respect an individual’s right to education and to make education progressively available and accessible through reasonable measures.

Despite education being a basic human right, there are still learners who drop out of school, due to not having Identity documents.

Mqikela says her eldest daughter will turn 30 in a year and was deprive of doing matric because she did not have an Identity document, she was forced to drop out. She says even her daughter’s child is now experiencing the same problem because She does not have a birth certificate, so she was not accepted at a local creche.

“My daughter is depressed and has lost self-esteem, she tries to find work but won’t get permanent jobs because of this situation, she sees her peers succeed every day, and sometimes cries herself to sleep now depends on her boyfriend to survive,” said Mqikela

Mqikela says the local crèche said they won’t take her grandchild because she needs to have a birth certificate.

“I went to home affairs four times trying to get an Identity document, last attempt was three weeks back the first week of August 2021, Kwanokuthula Home Affairs in Plettenberg Bay.

Gave me forms to fill and to take to the school I went to in Eastern Cape, I am struggling to get a transportation fee so that I can get the assistance it costs R400 to get to East London from Plettenberg bay.

I have casual jobs now and again. In other words, I am a typical hand to mouth survivalist. I am not sure where am I expected to have R800 of taxi return.

Regarding learners who drop out of school because they do not have Identity documents Kerry Mauchline. Who’s The Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer said “

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer said the provincial government has advised schools to be sympathetic in their approach of dealing with the ID challenges. According to Schäfer, parents are allowed to show proof that they are at least engaging with Home Affairs on the matter.

”If a parent has had challenges with schools accepting this documentation, then they are to approach the District office for assistance.”

Western Cape social development has advised the family to contact the Eastern Cape Department of education to get assistance on obtaining primary school records of the mother needed by Home affairs
Esther Lewis who’s the Western Cape spokesperson to the minister of social development said “The norms and standards with regards to the operations of ECDs are governed by the Children’s Act”.

The Department of Social Development will assist this family, as well as any others in need of assistance, within the provincial DSD mandate, the nearest service point is DSD-funded NPO partner Child Welfare Plettenberg Bay, who renders services in Qolweni.

This office can be visited, and a social worker will conduct the assessment. (the office has been informed of this case) As mentioned previously in this thread, the outcome of the assessment will determine the intervention plan.

 “According to the Act, access to ECD facilities and programmes is not dependent on ID documents. However, all ECDs are autonomous bodies, and owned and managed independently, and may have their own additional admission criteria.

The role of provincial DSD is to register ECDs, according to the norms and standards specified in the Children’s Act.” Lewis explained

The Department of Home Affairs and Eastern Department of Education did not reply to the media query.

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights states that “Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”

Citizenship provides people with a sense of identity. It entitles individuals to the protection of a state and to many civil and political rights. Having an ID number helps people to access and secure their right.

By Siphokazi Mnyobe.

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