Youth encouraged to apply for IDs

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pretoria - As part of its outreach programme, Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Fatima Chohan, will address youth from Roodepoort in Cape Town on Monday in an effort to encourage them to apply for identity documents in order to access government services.

The programme follows last year's launch of the National Population Register (NPR) Campaign in the Eastern Cape by President Jacob Zuma and Minister Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma. 

One of the objectives of the campaign is to encourage young people, particularly those who have turned 16, to apply for IDs to enable them to access services provided by government. 

During the outreach programme, the youth will also be advised on the processes to be followed to enable them to acquire birth certificates, since identity documents cannot be issued without a birth certificate.

The department said that the campaign also aims to ensure the integrity and security of the NPR through a single point of entry, at birth. Since the campaign launch, significant progress has been made it said.

"Of a total of 899 618 births registered from April to January 2010/2011, 793 567 were registered within a year, which accounts for 88 percent, this exceeds the department's target of 70 percent, the registration of birth within 30 days remains at 52 percent [412 655] out of 793 567 registered within a year."

The department has also increased its footprint in terms of the number of hospitals and health facilities linked to the department's database, in an attempt to assist parents register their babies within 30 days.

"There are now 330 hospitals and healthcare facilities linked to our database around the country and where possible, parents receive birth certificates even before they leave hospital with their new babies."

The presence of stakeholder fora in the communities has played an invaluable role in assisting the Department to achieve the objectives of the NPR it said. The total number of fora established and launched throughout the country has increased to 254, out of 282 municipalities including targeted metros, accounting for 90 percent prevalence. 

In a bid to ensure that department delivers on its mandate to provide services to all South Africans, the department's mobile offices as well as officials stationed at the Davidson Stadium, will be available to assist members of the community.

During the event, the youth will be informed on the importance of the Film and Publications Board, especially as it pertains to protecting them from exposure to explicit material contained in popular media, including films.