ID campaign on go-fast track

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kabelo Thibedi is unfazed by the imminent go-slow by civil servants who include employees of the Department of Home Affairs.

In 2005 Thibedi, then 21 years old, held Linel Small hostage at the Johannesburg Home Affairs office with what turned out to be a toy gun after he had struggled for three years to get an identity document.

Thibedi said that though the industrial action would disturb his campaign, in which he has been working with Home Affairs, he will continue to help people get their identity documents.

Thibedi started a campaign to help people in Meadowlands and surrounding areas in Soweto to apply for their ID's and other documents from Home Affairs.

Thibedi said he had realised that the problems started with mistakes made on the application forms.

"I can now help people fill in their forms accurately because I have received training from the department," he said.

He saidhe had been working closely with the Dobsonville office and had helped several people.

"I help the office with administration work and this has actually helped a lot of people," he said.

Thibedi said another initiative, as part of the campaign, was to start today. He would be going to schools in Soweto to help pupils apply for IDs.

"We are going to start with Kelokitso Secondary School in Meadowlands and then move to other parts of Soweto," Thibedi said. He said 18 schools would be covered in the first leg.

Thibedi, who is studying communication science at Unisa, plans to conduct research into why such backlogs happen at Home Affairs, and why IDs are so riddled with mistakes.

"I hope to come up with solutions to help the department deal with their problems," he said.