Home Affairs confirms: No Smart ID’s for poor and unemployed South Africans

Statement by Adrian Roos MP – Democratic Alliance (DA) member – Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs

It had come to light that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) would not provide free Smart ID Cards to indigent and unemployed South Africans. This was acknowledged in parliament by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi (former health minister).  He said the SA government will only provide free Smart ID Cards to the elderly and first time applicants.

The DA believes it would disproportionately affect the already poor. Assisting indigent and unemployed people with free Smart ID cards should not be seen a handout, but rather a means to empower citizens to access employment, education, homes and health assistance.

In the statement, the DA said it believed the ANC government should go the extra mile to empower those who are poverty stricken. The lack of jobs could be placed at the government’s door for failure to attract investment which would have created employment opportunities. The statement further stated that living without an identity document could be extremely limiting for the poor. Ultimately they would be excluded from meaningfully participating in  society. And these are possibly those who after having been given a food packet and a t-shirt before election, voted for the ANC.

In Cape Town, the DA-run city, job seekers are provided with free weekly transport in an effort to find employment. Even in Gauteng, subsidies for the poor include water, electricity and transport.


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