I don’t want this blog to be my go to place to moan about how shit South Africa is. Yes there are lots of issues here but I have had a good life here. I came here in 2003 and I loved it so much that it became home for over a decade. I’ve had some really good times here. It’s the country I felt I belonged in, the country that I felt at home. I met my husband here, we built a life together, we started a family together. I had my son, I nearly died but it’s the healthcare system in this country that saved me. If I was back home and had the complications I had, I no doubt would have died. I am thankful to South Africa for taking me in, for saving me, for letting me belong.
But today, I’m fucking pissed off.
I’ve been waiting to get my visa from Immigration New Zealand (INZ). I know that I qualify according to their criteria for a visa. I know there’s no good reason to reject my application… except for one small detail. The incompetency of HOME AFFAIRS South Africa.
My step father waited for SEVEN years for his paperwork to come through enabling him to live and work in this country. They lost his applications several times over the course of that period and we are no stranger to the incompetence of that department. The president keeps changing the Minister of Home Affairs but none of them actually seem to know what the department is supposed to actually do.
I applied for a birth certificate in APRIL this year. I’ve been waiting ever since.
I got told I need to go back in and fill in forms which I did.
A few weeks later I was told I need to go back in and fill in forms.
When I queried what forms, I was told it was the SAME forms I’d filled in before.
So of course I asked why would I need to do that again and I tweeted the Home Affairs twitter account. I sent them an email which was forwarded on and the next morning at 7:15am I got a call explaining that although it SEEMS like these forms are the same they actually aren’t so okay, I agreed I’d go in and fill in these new forms. Of course when I got there, BAM, it’s the same fucking forms.
I was so angry but to my surprise so was the lady who helped me.
She immediately emailed a bunch of people asking for this matter to be escalated. I was copied in on the email. A week later I followed up – NO RESPONSE.
I called in again – nothing had been done and they were waiting on Pretoria. So now, it’s been escalated again.
Anyway, SO I applied for my New Zealand Visa using my passport that was brand new with the glaring error stating that I was born here. Of course on my forms, I fill in that I was born in Swaziland – because that’s where I was born.
A few weeks after that INZ asks for proof of how I’m South African because of this error on my passport and the fact that I had stated I’m born in Swaziland. So I send off copies of my Swazi birth certificate which shows the names of both my parents and that they are both born in South Africa. I attach copies of my ID document as well as that of my dad’s and my mom’s. I kept my fingers crossed that would have been enough.
On Friday I get the call which I miss, along with an email stating that I need a new passport as my passport is invalid.
MY PASSPORT IS INVALID through NO fault of my own. I’ve tried to get a new one issued with the correct place of birth on it. I’ve tried to get my South African birth certificate which they “can’t find” but I’m entitled to as a citizen.
The best part of it all is that I have TWO WEEKS to submit a new passport to INZ and when I called Home Affairs I was told it takes SIX MONTHS TO A YEAR to amend a document that I didn’t fuck up in the first place.
The cherry on the cake was when she asked me in an angry tone “why didn’t I get this sorted out before” and um, I HAVE TRIED AND IT COMES BACK WRONG!!!
I can’t actually believe this is happening.
So now I don’t know what will happen but I’m going to see an immigration lawyer tomorrow in the hope that he has some sort of magic power to help us get this sorted out in time to leave this year but realistically, that date is floating away from us… who knows when it will happen!
I’m so angry about it and all the cliché’s about “THIS IS AFRICA” come rushing to my head and it’s not something I’m okay with.
It really FEELS like the freaking third world when I’m told it will take me a year to get an updated passport that THEY messed up!! And that’s not the Africa I love!!! But it is and I’m obviously the abused girlfriend who doesn’t realise this isn’t love.
I can’t deal with this right now! I can’t stop bloody crying from frustration.
Please help me spam them to get this done in time!!
[bctt tweet=”@HomeAffairsSA can you please give Jonelle her amended passport!! ” username=”tyrannyofpink”]