Identity is key

Civil registration is important because it enables citizens to have a sense of belonging

and to access services while helping government accurately plan for service delivery.

This is according to the new Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, whose department is responsible for registering people shortly after they are born (birth certifi cate),

 when they travel (passport), when they get married (marriage certifi cate) and when they pass on (death certifi cate).

He explained that civil registration and the statistics of the country go together to measure the amount of work a country still needs to do.

“We have a monopoly in the services we provide because no other institution does what we do.

Hence, we have to do them with diligence,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

“For example, we issue documents that enable citizens to access social grants and education, open bank accounts and purchase homes and cars.

Others use these documents to open businesses Identity is key.

Quite clearly, these documents have a huge impact on the socio-economic inclusion of our people,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

He was speaking at the fifth annual meeting of the ID4Africa Movement held recently.

The minister said the department has already registered over 85 percent of South Africa’s estimated 57 million people.

In order to include the remaining 15 percent, the department has launched its Late Registration of Birth programme,

Identity is key which caters for people who were not registered within 30 days of birth.

Those who were not registered need to visit the department’s offices,

where the process and requirements for each individual will be explained.

“In the main, you need to come with a parent or a relative who is documented,

a letter from your traditional leader or local councillor outlining that they know you and you are who you say you are.

Those who attended school must supply a copy of the record which shows the year in which they were registered,” he explained.

He said it is quite alarming that in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution there are still citizens who are born, get married and die without ever being recorded anywhere.

“In essence, it means unregistered people never existed.

It is mindboggling to imagine how people go about their everyday lives

and receive essential services that each citizen of each county is entitled to without proper registration,” he said.

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Author: ปราณี