duo stuck without ids

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

"My life has come to a standstill. I cannot get a driver's licence or buy property because of the Department of Home Affairs."

These are the words of a young professional, Mduduzi Mathenjwa, 25, who has been waiting for his identity document for 18 months.

Mathenjwa lost his original ID in 2006 and is trying to get a new one.

"This is so frustrating. I have been enquiring about my ID for a long time, but I'm always sent from pillar to post," said Mathenjwa, who applied for his ID at the Orlando West, Soweto, office.

He said they asked him to bring his clinic card, even though he has an ID number. He said he could not find the clinic card issued by the hospital at which he was born.

Another similar complaint came from Francis Matlala, 31. "It has now been a year and I am still waiting," Matlala said.

He applied for another ID at the Department of Home Affairs office in central Johannesburg.

He said the absence of an ID was affecting him because he could not, for example, resign from his present job to seek greener pastures.

Mantshele Tau, a spokesman for the department, said people had various reasons to complain to the media about their ID problems.

"There is no way an official would send a citizen from pillar to post and not hand them their ID. I suggest that the two complainants approach the provincial offices for help."