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id at last for gran

By Alex Matlala matlalaa@sowetan.co.za | Aug 12, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A 64-YEAR-OLD granny who struggled for 25 years to get her application for an identity document processed smiled for the first time in years after Sowetan made her dream come true.

Mokwape Mmola, of Marirone village in the greater Tzaneen area, achieved a double when she received her ID and old-age pension yesterday.

Mmola's many years of hardship to get an ID were highlighted by Sowetan early last month.

Her previous attempts to apply for an ID were shot down by Department of Home Affairs officials who wanted her to provide her mother and father's ID for the application to be considered.

Mmola was unable to provide the IDs because her parents died many years ago.

Because of her failure to provide these she stayed without an ID for many years, a problem that saw the unemployed granny depending on the mercy of neighbours and Good Samaritans for food.

It also led to Mmola and her family sleeping in a dilapidated, old mud house. She sometimes spent days without a proper meal.

Her eight children also had no identity documents. This rendered them unemployable and forced them to perform odd jobs in the neighbourhood to raise money.

The granny spent all these years without documentation while the government remunerated community development workers and a ward councillor to help people like Mmola to stand on their feet.

Yesterday the Department of Home Affairs gave her a new ID, while the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) handed over an old-age pension to a clearly relieved Mmola.

She also received the birth certificates of four of her children, which will help them apply for their IDs.

Sassa gave Mmola R1010 and this sent her into wild celebration at a paypoint in Marirone village yesterday.

"I prayed every morning and evening for God to help me get my grant before I die.

"I never thought a day like this would ever come. I will use the money to provide for my children and pay funeral societies so that I get a dignified funeral when I die," said a happy Mmola.

She also thanked Sowetan, the Department of Home Affairs and Sassa for helping her reclaim her life.

Home Affairs manager for Tzaneen Eddie Maphosa said it was their duty to make sure that every South African received an identity document at the age of 18.

Greater Tzaneen municipal mayor Othaniel Mushwana undertook to build Mmola a house soon with the help of the local government department.


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