MY son, Alex Gallant, was adopted by my husband in 2007. He was 14 then. The judge asked us if we wanted to change his surname to Campher and we agreed.
As he was turning 16 soon, we decided to change it when we applied for his ID. In July 2009 we applied for his first ID.
Three months later we went back and they just told us his application was unsuccessful, but could not explain why. We then tried again in 2010 at Sassa in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth and filled in new forms.
About two months afterwards we went back, just to find his application was yet again unsuccessful and this time they also could not explain why. We then left it as I was feeling totally confused and despondent as this child was now 17 and almost in matric with no ID.
We then went back to the Home Affairs in March last year and only then a woman told us that we needed other adoption documents that were not attached with the first two applications – why could nobody tell us this in the first place? We had to go back to the court and request these documents, got them certified and took them back to the Home Affairs office. Then we started the process again for the third time.
We filled in the forms, made the payment and received our SMS confirmation while we were sitting there. We were now on the right track – that is what we thought.
On May 11, I made my first call to the call centre and was told that the application was with the amendments department and I must phone for an update in two to three weeks. I phoned back on May 18 and spoke to Yolanda, who only then told me that his ID would take about nine months as he was changing his surname!
Couldn't they have told me this the day I applied for his ID? I could've just applied for a normal ID with his first surname and then reapplied again to change his surname, as now he is in matric and needs his ID as soon as possible!
I explained to this women that my son really needed his ID as he needed to apply to colleges and universities. She said she would escalate the issue and I must phone back in two to three weeks.
For the next 100 calls and e-mails I sent, they escalated the issue until it was with God. On February 11, after I told them I'll take the matter further, a guy named Tshepo phoned me from Pretoria and apologised for the delay.
He said they would sort the matter out as soon as possible, but I must please send them my proof of payment – made in March last year – or I must forward the SMS confirmation I received!
My son turns 20 this year and still does not have his ID.
Daveleen Campher, Port Elizabeth