Namibians urged to apply for national documents during campaign

Etienne Maritz

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security has urged Namibians without national documents to make use of its ongoing national documents registration campaign.

The ministry is currently running a countrywide campaign, which started on 5 February and will run until July.

The outreach programme includes the registration of births (at any age), applications for duplicate birth certificates, applications for identity (ID) documents and ID card duplicates.

Etienne Maritz, the executive director of home affairs, immigration, safety and security, says Article 15(1) of the Constitution guarantees every child’s right to a name and to acquire a nationality.

“United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16,9 calls for ‘legal identity for all including free birth registration’. National documents do not only provide a sense of belonging, but establish a person’s legal identity,” he says.

He says national documents are necessary for accessing services such as education, employment and social grants.

“To increase the registration coverage for national documents, the ministry will conduct a mass registration outreach to identified places for specific target groups, such as those in hard-to-reach areas, vulnerable communities and schools,” he says.

The outreach programme calendar is available on the ministry’s social media pages and will be aired on radio and put up at regional council offices.

The ministry says constituency councillors will be announcing relevant dates and venues on local radio.

“Members of the public who wish to apply for national documents are urged to visit registration points where mobile teams are in their respective areas,” Maritz says.

Applicants are urged to bring along the necessary supporting documents to registration points to avoid delays, he says.

UNCOLLECTED IDs

Despite efforts by the ministry to issue national documents, many ID applicants do not collect documents after applying for them.
In December last year, The Namibian reported that 39 168 national identification documents was unclaimed.

Deputy home affairs minister Lucia Witbooi at the time said while the ministry produced a total of 116 354 ID cards last year, uncollected cards are piling up at the ministry.

“It is against this background that the ministry is humbly calling upon those who have applied for ID cards to come and collect them,” Witbooi said at a Cabinet briefing in Windhoek.

Applicants have the option to retrieve their ID cards at designated offices or can alternatively request the transfer of ID cards to the ministry’s office in their region.

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