Young man missed a chance to vote because of IDs

Jabu Khumalo was unable to vote on Wednesday due to not owning an ID. Picture: Ntombi Nkosi

Jabu Khumalo was unable to vote on Wednesday due to not owning an ID. Picture: Ntombi Nkosi

Published May 31, 2024


JABULANI Khumalo from Phola Park in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, did not exercise his right to vote simply because he does not have an ID.

More than 20 million South Africans went to vote at different voting stations across the country on Wednesday. But for Khumalo, it was a missed opportunity.

Khumalo said he did not have a document which proved that he existed as a citizen of South Africa.

He is not the only one struggling due to not having an ID. About 500 000 children under the age of 18 do not have birth certificates and he is among thousands without an ID.

Khumalo said it had been a number of years since he tried to get an ID.

In the past he visited the Department of Home Affairs in Thokoza and the one in Alberton. But he said he had been told to produce DNA data to prove that he was who he said he was.

Khumalo, aged 23, is unemployed. He told Saturday Star he survives by getting odd jobs such as washing cars and taxis, cleaning people’s yards, washing sneakers and discarding waste on behalf of residents whose bins fill up before a waste collection truck collects them.

“The reason for not voting is because I am struggling to get an ID. Home Affairs is failing me,” Khumalo said.

“The situation of not having an ID is painful. There are times when I get an urge to commit suicide. All I know is that I will not pay a bribe to any Home Affairs official,” said Khumalo.

Asked whether he hoped to ever have an ID, Khumalo said Independent Media was his last hope to help him get one.

“I yearn to have an ID so that I can feel like I belong. I would like to be employed in order to provide for myself. Life without an ID is not life,” he said.

Another Ekurhuleni resident, and mother of two, Nompumelelo Maseko, is also struggling to get an ID.

Two weeks ago she went back to Home Affairs again in an attempt to get help. She said she was given a document requesting that she did a DNA test with her aunt.

“According to the document, my aunt and I have to go and do DNA tests at one of the hospitals in Johannesburg. We are required to pay R700 each which means the total is R1400, which I don’t have.

“I am unemployed, which means I will continue to live without an ID and my children will continue to live without birth certificates and not receiving grants,” said Maseko.

DHA spokesperson David Hlabane was contacted for comment. At the time of going to print, he failed to meet the deadline.

The Star