A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS
A smart identity card. File picture: GCIS

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

By Georgina Crouth Time of article published Jul 30, 2018

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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).

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.

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?


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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