Struggling to apply for new ID

Susan Hitchen, Simon’s Town

I recently had my bag stolen with my life in it, mobile phone, ID book, driving licence, etc.

I am 77 and as I’m sure you can imagine it was a very traumatic experience.

The police, of course, were not interested, but I was advised to put in a report as this would be required along with an affidavit signed by them to apply for a new ID, etc.

I made an appointment at Stellenbosch Home Affairs and duly turned up, only to be told that, as I’m not a citizen merely a permanent resident, since 1975 by the way, I could not apply for a copy of my ID there.

I received permanent residency in 1975 when we came to live in Johannesburg, but I still retain my UK passport.

I asked, as this was the case, exactly where I could apply and was told that there were only two places in the Western Cape – Grabouw or Swellendam. We then drove to Grabouw, where they also said that they didn’t do it anymore.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I don’t know what to do as Swellendam is out of the question.

I was wondering, as there are plenty of people that must be in the same position especially in this area, if anyone else has encountered this and what they did about it.

• Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza responds: Replacing an ID shouldn’t be difficult. I think there is more to this case.

He asked Echo the share Ms Hitchen’s contact details with him. We will do this once we have her permission to do so.