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Source: Department of Home Affairs
Title: Gigaba: Re-launch of permanent citizen registration
Deputy Minister, Mr MKN Gigaba’s briefing notes: Remarks at
the re-launch of the permanent citizen registration campaign,
Bamshela MPCC, Midlands
13 March 2005
MPL Mr Mzobe
Officials from all our offices
Other Government Departments
Ladies and Gentlemen
To launch the ID Campaign in preparation for the coming Local
Government Elections To announce the campaign to amend incorrect
information in the national Population Register to restore the
dignity of South Africans To call upon communities to report
corrupt activities through the Hotline Encourage communities to
register and participate in the Local Elections To launch Booklet
which explains the different services offered by Home Affairs,
requirements and the costs involved Theme: A People's Contract *
Together, Building a caring, compassionate and responsive Home
* Home Affairs in partnership with you. Ensuring the credibility of
the National population Register. Fighting Corruption.
* "ID, A right of all Citizens"
* A common Nationality, A common Patriotism
* 50 Years of the Freedom Charter
Home Affairs Facilitates an enabling environment for Governments
programme to push back the frontiers of poverty
True to the vision and spirit of the Freedom Charter, at the
beginning of this year, President Mbeki reminded us that South
Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.
The Preamble of the Freedom Charter declared that our country will
never be prosperous or free until all our people live in
brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities.
To give a living expression to these objectives, we are keenly are
that the Department of Home Affairs should accordingly be caring,
compassionate and be responsive to the needs of all South
This, we do, in many ways than one.
As you are aware, the Department of Home Affairs is very central to
the improving the lives of all South Africans. All of us, at any
stage of our lives and development, are obliged to interact with
The services that we provide are many and they vary depending on
We have contributed towards building a common nationhood and
We provide you with enabling documents such as birth certificates,
marriages certificates, Identity documents, passports, marriage
certificates, register and issue death certificates for the
All of these documents entitle people to access essential services
such as housing, education, health care, social grants and banking
and to also exercise their most fundamental right of electing a
government of their choice.
Currently, we have more than 9 million people in the country who
receive basic social protection from the state through the social
grant system. Without access to enabling documentation from Home
Affairs, this overwhelming success would not have been possible.
Accordingly, we will continue to work in partnership with the
Department of Social Development to provide enabling documentation
in order to register the target of an additional 1.2 million
vulnerable children between the ages of 11 and 14 years from next
As we continue to implement our programmes to improve your lives,
we do acknowledge that there are immense challenges that we have to
We have observed a growing trend of discrepancies and inaccuracies
in regard to misspelled names and surnames, wrong pictures, people
sharing ID numbers, incorrect birth dates and wrong gender which
seem to suggest that the Department could be erring in recording
details of citizens in the population register.
We may have read and heard about dead men/women walking which
occurred as result of fraudulent deaths. We have also heard about
people with different names and surname sharing one ID number. Some
are recorded as males whereas they are females and vice-versa. In
some instances, ID numbers are erroneously recorded or wrong photos
are attached to IDs. We are also sensitive to the fact that some of
the people have, as a result of these errors, lost their access to
social grants, have had their bank accounts closed, lost potential
employment opportunities, and others have been subjected to the
shame of consulting doctors to confirm their gender status before
effecting corrections in the National Population Register. Some of
the people could not access their pension money or provident fund
money because they have been declared dead.
In November last year, I delivered an ID to a 73 year old mama
whose ID was confiscated during the apartheid government because
she has a child with a darker skin. We have witnessed instances
where pension grants were stopped due to the fact that as a result
of our errors, some of our mother, fathers, grand mothers and
fathers have been made many years younger than their children and
In some instances, we have observed that communities and families
have failed our senior citizens. It is very painful when a 101 or
110 year old senior citizen is deprived of an opportunity to access
old age pension because she does not have an Identity Document.
Some of these cases can be attributed to the ignorance and
carelessness of the families or communities within which these
senior citizens reside.
As a result of these mistakes and carelessness that we spoke of
earlier, our people are subjected to live in conditions of poverty,
squalor and underdevelopment.
Without any doubt, this is not the type of South African society
that we seek to build and nurture.
We need to build a society premised on solidarity and care for the
poor and destitute. As the Freedom Charter declared, our country
will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in
brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities. We all have a
collective responsibility to build country that truly belongs to
all who live in it, black and white.
Accordingly, we would like to thank all the media houses and
journalists for their support in highlighting all these issues. We
also urge you to continue to raise such concerns as it is only
through public awareness and engagement that all service delivery
bottlenecks can be unblocked.
To enable people to correct their wrong or erroneous details on
their documents, I am therefore pleased to announce the 'Lokisa
Ditokomane/ Lungisa Izincwadi Campaign to enable you to rectify the
changes in your documents which have been wrongly recorded. As a
caring, compassionate and responsive Department, we appeal to you
to come forward and check your details with a view to correcting
them, if erroneous. Through this campaign, we would like to call
upon all South Africans to support the Department in its quest for
world-class service delivery.
But we are also aware that there are people who fake their deaths
in order to avoid certain duties and responsibilities. We are also
aware that false registration of deaths is also instigated by
greedy people who collude with hospitals and medical practitioners
to claim benefits for insurance and other financial benefits. This
is pure corruption and it must be reported to the police. If you
know of anybody who indulges in such a corrupt practice, feel free
to report it to the nearest Police or the National Anti-Corruption
Hotline Number at 0800 701 701.
It has come to our attention that there are many people older than
100 years among our communities who are not registered in the
National Population Register. We would like to appeal to civil
society, the community at large, the media and local government to
help in bringing them to our attention so that we can help them to
apply for IDs. This is not only important for their old age pension
grant, but also for their inclusion in the population register so
it can be reflective of the citizenry.
It is very worrying that some among us do not value our Identity
Documents. It is important to apply and look after your Identity
Document. It is a responsible thing to do! An ID is a very
important document and it is only wise and responsible that one
applies for it and as soon as they receive it, they safeguard it to
avoid wrongful use of a lost ID. It is always going to be needed to
access different types of services. Registering yourself as a South
African Citizen gives you a sense of belonging. If you are 16 years
and older, and do not have an ID, approach your nearest Home
Affairs Office to apply.
As part of our interventions towards improving the standards and
quality of service, our offices will as of 1 April 2005 introduce
flexi hours. This will enable us to close our offices after 15h30
to afford people an opportunity and time to access our services.
Furthermore, as from 1 April, we are going to be opening all our
offices on Saturdays from 8h00 to 13:00 in all the Provinces. This
is to accommodate those who cannot visit our offices during the
normal office hours by providing them with extra opportunities to
access our services. This exercise is also aimed at mobilising
people to apply and collect their IDs so they can vote in the forth
coming local government elections.
As we prepare for the Local Government Elections, the Department of
Home Affairs will provide free photographs with effect from 01
October 2005. In addition, the re-issues of the identity documents
will be also be provided free of charge.
For some time, it was not clear to most people as to what is
expected from one to access Home Affairs services. I am therefore
pleased that today we are launching the “Home Affairs At Your
Service” booklet which will address such issues in a simple
and understandable manner. This booklet, “Home Affairs At
Your Service”, seeks to explain in a simple and
understandable manner, the importance of applying for enabling
documents from Home Affairs, the requirements for applying for each
service, associated costs, how long it takes and most of the
relevant information related to Home Affairs services.
All of these efforts points towards a particular reality. Home
Affairs has changed. We have a new vision. We are building and
improving our capacity to deliver. We are prepared to serve YOU. We
believe that YOU-the citizen are entitled to a quality service. We
have an obligation to serve you as a Citizen. We are proud and
committed to serve you as a citizen. We are not doing you a
As such, Home Affairs is always at your service. And together, we
can build a country that belongs to all who live in it. With your
support and in partnership with you, Home Affairs will remain
caring, compassionate and responsive to your needs.
I thank you!
Enquiries: Nkosana Sibuyi
Chief Director: Communication Services
Tel: (012) 810 7354
Fax: (012) 810 7564
Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
13 March 2005