Strict new ID rules for teenagers

2009-12-19 00:00

IF you are over the age of 16 and still have not applied for an identity document (ID), you will have only one year to do so once the Home Affairs Department launches a new registration campaign early next year.

This announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during her visit to the storm-ravaged area of Bulwer yesterday.

The minister said that once the cut-off date is announced, first time applicants will have12 months to apply, and once the period has lapsed, only those who are 16 years old will be eligible to apply for their IDs for the first time.

The tough new measure also relates to first-time applications for birth certificates.

“You will have 12 months [before the cut-off date] to register anyone from the age of 0 to 15 years for a birth certificate. After that, [Home Affairs] will no longer be so lenient,” she said.

The minister’s spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, said the department will launch a vigorous campaign from January to ensure that no one is left in the dark about the cut-off period.

Dlamini-Zuma said it is distressing that many people put off applying for these important documents and said the tough new measures are necessary to spur them along.

She said the culture of leaving things to the last minute is a problem and government’s record keeping is being affected by it.

The minister’s visit, with KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize and Public Works and Human Settlements MEC Maggie Govender, was to see the serious damage caused by freak storms to a number of homes in the Bulwer area recently.

Govender said that although the provincial government is happy to be handing over houses to people who had lost their homes during the storm, it was sad that many lives had been lost

“In our province, it seems that every year during November or December there’s a disaster. That’s why the government has given KZN a disaster fund grant to deal with the disasters that are so rife,” she said.

She said her department has been working with constructors who are doing their best to ensure that houses that were destroyed are being speedily rebuilt.

People whose homes were partly destroyed were given vouchers to buy building materials, said Govender.

During the official handover of one of the newly reconstructed houses, Mkhize said he was amazed at how quickly some of the houses had been rebuilt as the storms had taken place only a few weeks ago.


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