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Does being born in SA make you more of a South African than others?

A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS

A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS

Published Jul 30, 2018


V Siebert writes:

My wife and I recently went to Home Affairs in Maynard Mall in Cape Town to apply for our ID smart cards.

My wife had no problem getting her application accepted. But I was told that I was not eligible for the new smart card as I was not born in South Africa (I was born in Zimbabwe).

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I told the woman handling my application that I had become a South African citizen soon after I arrived in the country. I even have a South African passport!

She repeated that only South Africans born in the country could apply for the new cards.

I could renew my present green ID document if I wanted, she said, but this would cost R140. New ID cards are free if you are over 60.

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We checked with the information desk on the way out and were told the same thing.

No smart card if you were not born in the country!

I am sure there are many South Africans who are in the same position. Are some citizens more South African than others?

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I asked the Department of Home Affairs to comment on this issue but they haven’t responded. The policy makes no sense.

* Georgina Crouth is a consumer watchdog with serious bite. Write to her at [email protected]

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