Birth certificate struggle

Zoliswa Gquwa is struggling to get a birth certificate for her son.

A young Khayelitsha mother has been left frustrated after numerous attempts to get a birth certificate for her five-year-old son were unsuccessful.

Zoliswa Gquwa, 21, an unemployed, single mother, told Vukani she cannot even apply for a child support grant for her child and feels like she has run out of options.

Ms Gquwa said when she gave birth to her son in Mount Fletcher, in the Eastern Cape, in 2013, nurses at the clinic gave her a letter indicating that she was indeed the mother of the child since she did not have an Identity Document (ID).

She said the child was also given a clinic card so that he could get medical care at the clinic if he got sick.

In 2015, Ms Gquwa moved to Cape Town to look for work.

She applied for and received her ID so that she could get a birth certificate for her child. In 2016, she said she visited Home Affairs in Khayelitsha to apply for the birth certificate but was told to come back after six months.

She said during the six months she was praying that her son could start school and she could be eligible to apply for a social grant.

However, after six months Home Affairs officials informed her that they were unable to assist her.

She said they argued that they needed to ensure that the child belonged to her. And for them to be able to do that they needed to get confirmation from the clinic where she gave birth.

Ms Gquwa said they told her that it could not be done over the phone. She said they advised her to go back to Mount Fletcher so that she could be assisted.

Ms Gquwa said the officials told her that they had to be careful because of kidnapping and human trafficking .

She said the whole situation left her puzzled and angry because she had all the relevant documentations.

“I’m not able to receive the social grant because my child has no birth certificate. My child can’t attend crèche because I’m not working. My fear is that my child is going to miss school. I have every document that confirms that this is my child. I want them to approve my child’s birth,” she said.

Thabo Mokgola, spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, said they are investigating the matter. He said the provincial manager for Home Affairs in the Eastern Cape will delegate officials to contact Ms Gquwa to obtain more information to assist her in resolving the issue.