Holiday almost ruined

2015-06-30 06:00
A Pelican Park family almost lost their holiday after “negligence” at the Wynberg home affairs offices.

Chevon Booysen

A Pelican Park family almost lost their holiday after “negligence” at the Wynberg home affairs offices. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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A family’s holiday was put in jeopardy after a frustrating run-in with the home affairs department in Wynberg.

The overseas trip almost did not happen due to “negligence on the department’s side”.

This is according to a Pelican Park resident who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation.

She says preparation for an overseas trip to Turkey was hampered shortly after she applied for birth documentation for her children from the department.

“I had to go to home affairs to get unabridged birth certificates for both my son and daughter. I did not know I needed these certificates if I leave the country with my children until someone told me I needed it as well,” the woman says.

After visiting the home affairs offices in Wynberg on 6 May all the necessary forms were completed and handed in.

“I had to pay R75 to obtain these documents when I got there.”

On 2 June I got a notification that the application for my daughter’s certificate was approved but my son’s wasn’t,” she adds.

The family, who planned their trip for the end of June, says they then called to find out how far the process was with the son’s certificate “because the forms were handed in at the same time”.

“I called their offices to find out what was happening when I was told that all children who were born during the years 2002 and 2003 was not registered on the system.

“According to the lady who spoke to me, these documents were lost,” she explains angrily.

The frustrated mother says she was then instructed to fill out more forms to re-register her son on the system.

“When I asked them why they could not tell us this sooner they explained to me that it was done on an ad-hoc basis.

“They were waiting for parents to come back to the home affairs offices and only then they are told about the lost documents, whereafter the parents are left to re-register their children by filling out more forms,” she says.

To add to the frustration of the already distressed family, after her forms were submitted and follow-ups were done at the Wynberg offices “the forms were not emailed to head office to process”.

“It’s just so frustrating knowing that they are not doing their job while I did all that was supposed to be done to have my papers in order. The whole process could have been done more efficient if it wasn’t for their lax behaviour.”

Fortunately, a week before the family was set to leave on their holiday, the son’s documentation was processed and approved. The delay in the process took its toll on the family in the build-up to their holiday, she says.

“My son was very upset by all of this and thought that he wouldn’t be able to go on the long-awaited holiday. Obviously I would not have left my child here. I just wish they pulled up their socks sooner,” she says.

Numerous attempts to gain comment from the Wynberg offices of the home affairs department were unsuccessful.

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