NATIONAL NEWS - The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) hopes to ease the burden of applying for an Identity Card, for both learners and their parents.
Through the Government’s Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) programme, DHA has partnered with the Department of Education (DoE) to ensure all school-going people who are 16 years and older, can apply for their ID card with no hassles.
OSS representative for DHA, Phumlani Mchunu said, “This is a school project that is free of charge, including taking ID photos. Every year in AbaQulusi, we carry out this project throughout the year for every learner who qualifies to have an ID card, with the help of the DoE. The priority is Grade 12 learners.
"This programme does not interfere with exams and tests.”
Since the beginning of the year, DHA has assisted approximately eight schools and more are yet to have their chance. The department is estimating to have assisted at least 50 schools by the end of the year.
Zesuliwe Dlamini, a Grade 12 learner at eMondlo Secondary School who was part of this project, said, “This is a very helpful project because our parents do not have enough time to come and spend the whole day waiting in the queue for us to apply for our ID cards. It is also important because, in Grade 12, you cannot write your exams without an ID.”
Echoing the importance of the programme, a Grade 10 learner also from eMondlo Secondary, Qiniso Mdlalose said, “It is such a great idea because some of us live with grandparents, who cannot even walk to the department and assist us in applying for our IDs. I feel happy because, by the time I get to matric, I will not have the stress about starting to apply for an ID card.”
eMondlo Secondary teacher, Bonginkosi Buthelezi, who accompanied learners to apply for their ID cards, commented, “This is not just helpful academically but in sports as well, because when the learners participate in sports they need to have ID cards when they reach a certain age, to participate in competitions.
"We are very grateful for this wonderful idea the departments are doing for the schools.”