/ 1 March 2011

South Africans urged to collect IDs

The home affairs department on Tuesday urged South Africans to collect over 500 000 unclaimed IDs ahead of the final voter registration weekend.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, director general Mkhuseli Apleni said their offices would extend working hours, opening at 8am and closing at 5pm from Friday to Sunday.

“Officials at our offices nationwide will therefore be on hand to collect and process first applications and applications for the reissue of IDs, as well as temporary identity certificates which will be accepted by the IEC [Independent Electoral Commission].”

The department extended working hours during the previous election registration period, and 20 516 people came to collect their IDs.

Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka still had to announce the election date, but it was expected they would be held before the end of May.

Apleni said while an ID would enable those on the voters roll to cast their ballots, it was also a “passport to a better life” and allowed for access to government services.

A total of 117 mobile centres would be made available in areas where people lived far from home affairs offices.

Those who had queries about their IDs could call 072-381-0836, 072-435-8596 or 079-075-4326.

National Population Register
Meanwhile, the department’s Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was expected to launch a National Population Register (NPR) campaign in KwaZulu-Natal’s Ingwe local municipality on Friday.

The campaign aimed to encourage parents to register their babies within 30 days of birth. It would also help facilitate access to social services.

“Its successful implementation will in the long run ensure there is only one point of entry into the population register, at birth. Ultimately this will ensure the credibility, integrity and security of the country’s population register,” Apleni said.

Since March last year there had been improvements in the registration of newborns, in ID applications, and a significant decrease in the number of IDs being re-issued.

As of January this year, 327 health facilities were linked to the nationwide database to allow registration of babies at birth. — Sapa