Home Mzansi News First time mothers struggle to register babies at Home Affairs

First time mothers struggle to register babies at Home Affairs

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A home affairs office is pictured in Alberton, South of Johannesburg. Picture: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

First time mothers struggle to register babies at Home Affairs

New mothers in Johannesburg have expressed frustration at being unable to get their babies registered, due to either long queues or closed Home Affairs offices.

Mpho* visited the Randburg offices in the early hours of Thursday to help her sister register the birth of her three-month-old baby.

Mpho held the infant outside the offices.

Tebogo* was 17 years old and had not yet received her identity document when she gave birth.

Mpho and Tebogo at the Randburg home affairs offices. Their faces are obscured to protect the identity of the 17-year-old mother.

Mpho and Tebogo at the Randburg home affairs offices. Their faces are obscured to protect the identity of the 17-year-old mother. Sebabatso MosamoThe sisters waited their turn in the morning queue but officials intervened in a bid to send them away for a second time.

“They turned her back on Monday and I decided to take leave from work and came to find out what’s the matter. What are we supposed to do with a child who’s not documented because the office doesn’t feel like helping my sister?“They can’t bully her like this,” Mpho said.

They were told the birth certificate would not be processed on the day but Mpho had to argue for her niece to be registered. “I told them they would be liable if anything happened to the child because she’s undocumented. Only then they let her in.

It’s so disappointing,” she added. Another young mother Nozuko Langa, 20, visited a Home Affairs office at Maponya Mall in Soweto. The mother of a two-month-old baby girl arrived to closed doors — with a notice reading: “Please accept our apology as Maponya Home Affairs is currently closed until further notice.”

New mothers in Johannesburg have expressed frustration at being unable to get their babies registered, due to either long queues or closed Home Affairs offices.

Mpho* visited the Randburg offices in the early hours of Thursday to help her sister register the birth of her three-month-old baby.Mpho held the infant outside the offices.Tebogo* was 17 years old and had not yet received her identity document when she gave birth.

Mpho and Tebogo at the Randburg home affairs offices. Their faces are obscured to protect the identity of the 17-year-old mother.Mpho and Tebogo at the Randburg home affairs offices. Their faces are obscured to protect the identity of the 17-year-old mother.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

The sisters waited their turn in the morning queue but officials intervened in a bid to send them away for a second time.“They turned her back on Monday and I decided to take leave from work and came to find out what’s the matter. What are we supposed to do with a child who’s not documented because the office doesn’t feel like helping my sister?

“They can’t bully her like this,” Mpho said.They were told the birth certificate would not be processed on the day but Mpho had to argue for her niece to be registered. “I told them they would be liable if anything happened to the child because she’s undocumented. Only then they let her in.

It’s so disappointing,” she added.Another young mother Nozuko Langa, 20, visited a Home Affairs office at Maponya Mall in Soweto. The mother of a two-month-old baby girl arrived to closed doors — with a notice reading: “Please accept our apology as Maponya Home Affairs is currently closed until further notice.”

-TimesLive

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