An identity document is one of the most important documents everyone must have. However, a Khayelitsha resident, Vuyiseka Mtundezi finds herself fighting an endless and seemingly losing battle of acquiring one from the Department of Home Affairs.
The 32-year-old mother of two currently has no ID. Ms Mtundezi said in 2008 she opted to change her aunt’s surname (Mtundezi) which she had been using for years and adopted her father’s surname Mpemnyama.
But she said before she could do that she first needed to change her current identity at the Department of Home Affairs.
She immediately informed the Department of Home Affairs about her intentions and inquired which steps she must follow.
She said she had been informed that she needed an affidavit from her biological parents and aunty before they could begin the process.
She claimed she was assured that the matter would be resolved immediately.
However, she was shocked when her ID came back with the name Vuyiswa Mpemnyama instead of Vuyiseka.
She alleges that she informed the authorities at the Department of Home Affairs in Khayelitsha about the errors in her ID and that the name belonged to her cousin sister who is based in the Eastern Cape.
Ms Mtundezi said she shares the same year and month of birth with her cousin sister. But she said when she attempted to resolve the matter she was informed that her ID was a duplicate.
For years, she claimed she attempted to resolve the matter but nothing had been done to fix it it.
However, she said she opted to continue using her aunt’s surname. Ms Mtundezi said she was shocked when she visited the Department of Home Affairs and was informed she had no ID document when she attempted to get a birth certificate for her son in 2016.
She said the department informed her that her ID had been cancelled in the system.
She said towards the end of 2016 she was instructed that she must bring the documents of her parents as well as other documents but she claims that in 2017 she was informed that the procedures had been done incorrectly and she needed to bring the same documents again.
She alleged that she was then informed that she needed to bring affidavits, a letter from school and other documents of her parents.
Ms Mtundezi states that she was promised that it would be a matter of weeks before the matter could be resolved and she was assured that it would be fixed. However, she claims that nothing had been done so far to resolve the matter.
“My son does not have a birth certificate because I have no ID. My first born daughter is doing her matric and she is unable to apply for an ID because I don’t have an ID myself.
“I have contacted the Department of Home Affairs head too many times but nothing had been done. I’m simply nobody. “I can’t do anything because I have no ID. My life has been put on a complete hold,” she said.
Ms Mtundezi said she had been sent from pillar to post with no one actually pointing her in the right direction and assisting her. Ms Mtundezi said she therefore decided to turn to the media for help.
Department of Home Affairs spokesperson, Thabo Makgola, said he had referred the matter to the provincial manager for Home Affairs in the Western Cape for an investigation.
He said the Khayelitsha office manager would contact the client with a view to attain further information to help in the investigation.