Home Af­fairs gets it wrong


My wife and I tried to ap­ply for the new iden­tity smart cards. We were told we could ap­ply on­line, but when I reg­is­tered and com­pleted the form a mes­sage flashed on “only cit­i­zens born in South Africa can ap­ply on­line”.

We were in­structed to con­tact our lo­cal Home Af­fairs of­fice. We went along to Home Af­fairs in Main Road, Som­er­set West and pro­duced our green ID books and were given a num­ber and pro­ceeded to the photo and fin­ger­print depart­ment. Af­ter an hour we were pro­cessed and di­rected to the mid­dle aisle to be called to an­other sta­tion.

An­other 30 min­utes and we were called to a counter. Af­ter giv­ing mar­riage and birth de­tails, we were in­formed we could not have the smart cards as we were not born in South Africa.

We have been cit­i­zens since the mid 1990s, so why have we been dis­crim­i­nated against and rel­e­gated to sec­ond class cit­i­zen­ship? If we can­not have smart cards what hap­pens when the green card is dis­con­tin­ued?

Why can’t Home Af­fairs come out and say “If not born in South Africa no smart card”?


This let­ter was sent to the Depart­ment of Home Af­fairs for com­ment, but no re­sponse was re­ceived at the time of go­ing to print. Distric­tMail un­der­takes to pub­lish the com­ment once forth­com­ing. – Ed.

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