On Friday 20th November I spent a few hours at Home Affairs in Barrack Street trying to collect an Unabridged Birth Certificate for which I applied and paid for on the 9th February 2015. This was not the first, second or last time I tried to collect the same certificate.

Two months ago I visited Home Affairs to uncover the application was lost and nobody knew what ensued though I had the original receipt. On the second instance Michael Muncho on the 2nd floor suggest I reapply as “Pretoria” was indifferent to request for info. Supervisor “Irene” sent him to assist.

On Friday before I engaged “Princess” the supervisor on the 1st floor I went looking for Michael and Irene who were both unavailable. After spending time with Princess I grasped what the problem was.

While a few Home Affairs officials in Cape Town were indifferent, their co-workers in Pretoria simply did not give a damn. I witnessed Princess struggle to explain to an endless stream of callers and people -why Pretoria did not respond or why their documents were misplaced etc. Princess could only look at her computer screen and read that -file was not on record or empty or something like that.

To add to the confusion Thando on the 1st floor suggested I reapply for the 3rd time for the same certificate. Whilst my daughter’s High School waits for the certificate I am left considering why it is that “Pretoria” like in the days of Apartheid is indifferent.

I have read and heard much of the ineptitude at Home Affairs over many years and am considering if everything we hear and read is possibly true. I suggest the Cape Argus investigates the needless trauma many genuine parents have to endure whenever kids apply to attend a new school.

Why does Home Affairs bother with a standard birth certificate if it serves no purpose, why not scrap that and only issue Unabridged Birth Certificates as that is what schools require. For the uninformed schools insist on the Unabridged Birth Certificate to identify both parents with regards to school fees.

As the Chairperson of a School Governing Body I am also aware why schools require the Unabridged Birth Certificate. Sadly more and more woman conveniently claims that the child’s actual father is missing in action when they apply for exemption at fee paying schools. Sadly on investigation I have discovered men who were not missing at all. Some actually earn huge sums of money but collude with the child’s mother to avoid school fees. This is disgraceful and unfair to genuinely needy kids.

Thus ineptitude at Home Affairs makes matters difficult for schools to track down school fee dodgers.

To anyone at Home Affairs the invoice number is IRE-15841952 and dated 2015-02-09. If anyone has the answer to this enigma on how Unabridged Birth Certificate can be timeously received, please contact the Argus as many citizens cannot comprehend how documents get lost at Home Affairs.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress