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'Communities in the remote areas of the Eastern Cape denied Home Affairs services'

Oct 3, 2018
'Communities in the remote areas of the Eastern Cape denied Home Affairs services'

Thousands of people living in remote regions of the Eastern Cape are being deprived of their basic rights as citizens of South Africa, because the South African government does not care enough to provide them with the services they are entitled to, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape says.

“A case in point are the rural areas such as Willowmore, and Steytlerville where people must travel to either Graaff Reinet or Oudtshoorn, which is hours away, in order to get identity documents, register births and deaths,” describes Vicky Knoetze (MPL), the DA’s Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

She said that the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape has written to the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, in an effort to ensure that mobile units of the Department of Home Affairs visit the rural areas of this province on a more regular basis.

“In areas such as Venterstad, Jamestown and Steynsburg people must travel to Aliwal North, where Home Affairs have been closed for the past two weeks. This means that people often use the little money they have to travel to these offices only to be turned away empty handed,” Knoetze adds.

“Many people simply do not have the means to travel up and down, chasing after Home Affairs.

“The result is that they live for years without identity documents, which deprives them of their many rights and opportunities as citizens of this country.”

‘Residents going through life with no proof of identity or birth in their own country’

She says that these people are forced to go through life as ‘ghosts’ with no proof of identity or birth in their own country.

“It should be the aim of government to make the lives of the people of South Africa easier, not harder,” Knoetze describes.

“Government needs to do more to ensure that all people have access to services, without which they cannot function properly in society.

“The Democratic Alliance has escalated this issue, and has brought it to the attention of Minister Gigaba, as various attempts to contact officials in the province and local offices have simply been ignored.”

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