Woman’s ID age mess

2018-11-26 16:15
Bavumile Mkhize holds up her ID, which has the wrong birth year, and an age assessment letter from a doctor confirming that she was indeed born in 1959. PHOTO:

Bavumile Mkhize holds up her ID, which has the wrong birth year, and an age assessment letter from a doctor confirming that she was indeed born in 1959. PHOTO: (Ian Carbutt)

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A city woman will be forced to continue working past retirement age as she claims her date of birth was incorrectly recorded on her identity document (ID).

Bavumile Mkhize, from Thembelihle in Eastwood, told The Witness that she was born in 1959, which makes her 59 years old, but her ID, which was issued in 1996, states that she was born in 1964, making her 54 years old.

“When my ID was issued I was just happy to finally have it and never noticed that the year of birth was incorrect,” she said.

After realising that her ID had an error, Mkhize said she has been visiting the local Home Affairs Office to try and rectify this but has been sent from pillar to post for the past five years.

Last year Mkhize was instructed by Home Affairs to visit a district surgeon at Northdale Hospital to undergo an age assessment test, which verified that she was indeed 58 at the time and not 53.

“When I took the letter back to Home Affairs the officials didn’t even want to look at it.

“I’ve never had a birth certificate and I remember that I had initially applied for this ID using a letter from my priest. I can’t even recall if I had left the letter at Home Affairs or took it home with me,” she said.

At some point, Mkhize said Home Affairs officials told her to go to the hospital she was born at to get proof of her birth.

“I went to the Mooi River hospital where I was born but I was told that all the apartheid era records had been taken to Home Affairs.

“Now I don’t know what to do to get this thing sorted out,” she said.

Mkhize said she suffers from arthritis and her knees are failing her but she is forced to continue working as a domestic at a Northdale home to support the four people depending on her.

According to Mkhize’s ID, she does not qualify for a government pension soon as the grants are paid out to people who are 60 years or older.

Home Affairs provincial manager Cyril Mncwabe advised Mkhize to contact the manager of the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs office, Xolani Maphumulo.

“We always tell the public that if they are not assisted at our offices they must speak directly to the branch manager. Maphumulo’s contacts and picture are posted at the entrance of the office for everyone to see,” he said.

Mncwabe said Mkhize’s problem can be resolved depending on the records they have at their head office in Pretoria.

He said the issue of people claiming to have the wrong birth year recorded on their ID books was a common one.

“In most cases it is the public’s fault that the year of birth is recorded incorrectly because they give officials the wrong information because they want to appear young, not realising that that will affect them when they want to retire and get their pensions.”

He added that Home Affairs does not take such cases lightly as some people come to them claiming that their dates of birth are incorrect only to find that they are attempting to evade debts because a change in the date of birth means they get a new ID number.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  home affairs

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