Dept operation checks for valid paperwork

Home affairs has visited several schools in the city, checking whether learners have valid birth certificates.

POLOKWANE – Officials from the Department of Home Affairs have conducted surprise visits to several schools in the city in recent weeks to check whether learners, teachers and general workers have the correct official documents to be in the country.

These visits form the start of an operation by the Home Affairs Department and the Department of Basic Education in the country.

Florah Motsitsi from the department told Review only a few schools have been visited in the past weeks and were warned to have the necessary paperwork in order.

“People have not yet been deported but this is something that will happen once they have not met the one week deadline”, according to Motsitsi.

“We are focusing on schools and educational institutions currently to look for study permits and working permits,” she said. The schools affected told Review that some of their employees have been in the process of renewing their documentation but that the process can take a long time to complete and these individuals cannot go back to their birth countries as they have jobs here and need the income.

Motsitsi said the department was still waiting for their allocated budgets to take the operation further.

Some schools in the city told Review they do not grant working opportunities to non-citizens as the risks are simply too high.

Some schools have also been issued with fines of up to R5 000 as they employ people who do not have the needed documentation.

Limpopo Education Spokesperson Naledzani Rasila said a birth certificate is a compulsory document required by the department to capture the learner’s birth details.

It is also necessary for the school to register learners in the schooling system, he continued.

“Any child who has not had his or her birth registered at Home Affairs will be declared an illegal immigrant. That, in other words, is someone who is in the country illegally and can face possible deportation,” Rasila said.

People in need of information on what documentation is required for work permits and other documents, visit the Home Affairs website at


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Riana Joubert

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