A group of locals and foreigners visited Joubert Park in the City of Johannesburg’s Region F on Tuesday, where the City and the Department of Home Affairs held an information session on matters relating to birth certificates, identity documents, and marriage and death certificates, among others.
Information regarding applications for the re-issuing of lost documentation, late registration of births and fraudulent marriages was also provided. More than 10 000 people – many from outside South Africa's borders – arrive in Johannesburg every month in search for better economic opportunities.
The City also has a migrants’ desk to assist refugees who have fled hunger, poverty and violence in their home countries. “Community members are always encouraged to apply for their documentation as this is key to exercising their democratic right to vote, education, healthcare, financial services and social benefits,” said Matome Maunatlala, of the Department of Home Affairs-City of Johannesburg Stakeholder Forum.
South African Social Security Agency officials were also at hand to assist with information regarding who qualified for social grants and how to access them.
Grandmother Mapaseka Moloi said she was looking after her daughter’s young children. She said her daughter died last year and she now had to share her pension with the grandchildren.
Moloi was happy to learn that she would be assisted with applying for the social grant for her grandchildren. “I’m so happy my son. I’m going to apply for my grandchildren's birth certificates first. Then I will apply for their grants. One of the children is due for school next year. Her grant will assist when she goes to school,” said Gogo Moloi.
Naheed Aslam and Jeera Muhammed are refugees from Somalia. They are a couple and are expecting their first child soon. They have been living in South Africa since 2011 but still hold asylum-seekers’ permits. They left the meeting knowing that their unborn baby will be a fully fledged South African citizen.