Life on hold: A Strand woman’s life has been set back by not having a valid ID.
Life on hold: A Strand woman’s life has been set back by not having a valid ID.

Home Affairs horror: Woman’s nine months wait for ID

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Jul 31, 2021

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Cape Town - A simple application for a new ID has put the life of a Strand woman on hold.

Ntombexolo Komanisi, 49, first struggled when institutions informed her that they could not scan her ID as the last two numbers were not visible.

She has always wanted to change her surname and with the ID clearly worn out, she thought she must amend her details when making a new application. Little did she know her wait will be like that of an expectant mother.

“When I applied for a new ID last year in October I thought by Christmas I would have long got a new one but I am still waiting. Whenever I got to Home Affairs I am told they are processing the ID and I will get it soon. I am supposed to receive funds from the Department of Labour but I cannot access them due to not having an ID,” Komanisi explains.

She struggles to do simple activities such as banking and paying her burial society. When she made a new application, she said, Home Affairs then cancelled her old ID while she waits for the new one.

“I joined a burial society and I was told to get a proper ID so they can process my application. If I were to die, my family would have to bear the cost of my funeral as I am not fully covered yet.

“My life is standing still without my ID. Home Affairs is giving me hard time, this feels like a nightmare. They should be called horror affairs.”

The cost of funerals are expensive and as a result, many South Africans have taken policies to have peace of mind.

The mother of three said she now uses her daughter’s bank account for other transactions.

“My fingerprints are still on the system but when I have to present the ID, the banks struggle with verification. I have wasted a lot of money and time going from one office to another. I am unemployed and cannot submit official documents without a valid ID.”

When the Department of Home Affairs launched the new smart card ID, they promised that it would take 14 working days from the date of application, provided it is a straightforward application meeting all the requirements, to get a new ID.

Home Affairs spokesperson Siyabulela Qoza did not say how long the process normally takes but invited Komanisi to visit their offices.

“Please note that Ms Komanisi’s matter was resolved on 25 May 2021. Ms Komanisi is invited to visit our offices for a confirmation letter, which confirms the amendment,” said Qoza.

Responding to this, Komanisi said she would visit the offices on Monday and provide an update.

Weekend Argus

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