Answer to a question from a reader

How can people who cannot personally go to Home Affairs get their IDs?

The short answer

You can make a sworn affidavit explaining his position and try to apply for it as his parent/guardian.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My mentally handicapped son is in a care home and has no way to go to Home Affairs or bank to apply for an ID. What alternatives are available for people with disabilities?

The long answer

Unfortunately, Home Affairs has a very poor reputation for being helpful when it comes to vulnerable people like your son. But you need to try them first. So, you could make a sworn affidavit setting out your son’s position and why he cannot attend Home Affairs in person, and take this, together with the details of the care home, a certified copy of his birth certificate and your own ID, to Home Affairs and ask them to help you get him his ID.

If they prove unhelpful, you could take all the documents that you took to Home Affairs to an organisation like the Black Sash, which gives free paralegal advice, for help. These are their details:

If they cannot get Home Affairs to move on it, you could ask Legal Aid to take it up with Home Affairs. They are a means-tested organisation that must help people who can’t afford a lawyer These are their details:

You could also ask one of the following organisations for help:

Lawyers for Human Rights

  • Email:

  • Tel: Musina 015 534 2203

  • Durban: 031 301 0531

  • Pretoria: 012 320 2943

  • Johannesburg: 011 339 1960

  • Cape Town: 021 424 8561

Legal Resources Centre

  • Email:

  • Johannesburg: 011 836 9831

  • Cape Town: 021 481 3000

  • Durban: 031 301 7572

Wishing you the best,

Answered on May 3, 2024, 1:06 p.m.

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