Campaign to get voters' IDs back from loan sharks

2009-04-16 00:00

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in KZN will embark on a campaign to ask loan sharks to return IDs to their clients to allow them to vote in the upcoming elections.

According to KZN Sanco secretary Skhumbuzo Mpanza, the organisation has been inundated with complaints from people whose IDs are being held by loan sharks.

Apart from being unable to vote on April 22, said Mpanza, the people have told Sanco that they are unable to conduct their personal or family affairs without IDs.

He said the number of people who have their IDs in the hands of loan sharks runs into thousands.

He added that many people are also prevented from registering as voters because the loan sharks have their documents.

He said the campaign to retrieve IDs from the loan sharks will be conducted throughout the province before it proceeds nationally. Sanco plans to approach Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa to issue a directive to the police to intervene in the matter, said Mpanza. He said they will also rope in the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), churches and NGOs to come on board.

“Although it might be a bit late for the upcoming elections for the campaign, we encourage people to get in touch with Sanco leaders at branch levels.

“It will be difficult to engage with the loan sharks because they don’t have an organisation. That is why the onus is on the victims to come forward,” added Mpanza.

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) provincial head, Mawethu Mosery, appealed to businesses to use their communication channels and persuade loan sharks to give people their IDs or alternatively those who registered to vote can apply for temporary identity certificates from Home Affairs.

The national communications officer in Home Affairs, Thabo Mokgola, told The Witness that 356 819 IDs remain uncollected in the country.

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