Youth encouraged to get IDs

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretoria - Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan has urged the youth of Roodeport to apply for identity documents, saying it would be become a vital document in their lives.

"An ID has become increasingly important since it enables young people to access a range of services offered by government and other sectors in society. An ID is required when, amongst others, registering to write matric examinations, accessing further education and employment opportunities, acquiring driver's licences and applying for financial services," she told them.

Chohan and other officials from the department interacted with the Roodeport residents on Monday as part of the department's National Population Register (NPR) campaign that was launched last year by President Jacob Zuma and Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The campaign aims to ensure the integrity and security of the NPR through a single point of entry, at birth. As part of this campaign, young people, particularly those who have turned 16, are encouraged to apply for IDs.

Speaking to the community, Chohan reiterated that if babies were registered within 30 days of birth, parents would be able to apply for social grants, if required, and government would be able to plan accurately to meet the needs of the people. 

"Government, if it is to be effective must begin to plan to provide, amongst others, education, healthcare, and social grants when the child is born. It is therefore imperative that children are registered within 30 days of birth," she said.

As part of her interaction with the community, Chohan distributed IDs to a group of mentally and physically challenged children and adults at the Lifemed Hospital in Roodepoort. 

She also met with and hosted a group of orphans from the Siyabonga Dorah's Ark Community Development Centre, with whom the department has been working to ensure that all the orphans under the age of 16 are issued with birth certificates, while those who are over the above 16 receive IDs.