MATOBO Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa has claimed orphans in her constituency are still being issued with the old version short birth certificates, which did not bear their parents’ names and this had seen scores of them being barred from participating in school sporting events.
Mlotshwa felt the affected children were being denied their right to participate in school programmes.
She asked Home Affairs Deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to look into the matter during a Senate session last week.
Ziyambi said he (RG) will task the Registrar-General to ensure “that those children are not discriminated against and they participate in school activities”.
“In your policy, there are birth certificates that are issued to children who do not have parents, those who are dumped, found and are taken care of at an orphanage,” Mlotshwa is quoted in the parliamentary Hansard.
“The birth certificates you give to those children are causing problems in Matobo.
“We have children that are being banned from participating in sports at a secondary school. There is an orphanage that takes the children to school, but they cannot participate because they cannot be offered long birth certificates.”
She pleaded with Ziyambi to look into the matter, as there were a number of children being deprived of education. “They are given the short ones which do not have information which is similar to that on the long birth certificates,” she said.
“What can your ministry do to co-ordinate that policy with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education so that those children are not denied their right to participate at a school programme?”
In response, Ziyambi pledged that the RGs office will look into what he described as a pertinent matter to ensure children are not discriminated.
“What I have to say is every child has a right to a birth certificate and an identity,” he said. “In that regard, it also includes participating or going to school without any hindrances. So what we will do is, we will liaise with the Registrar-General to find out what they can do to ensure that those children are not discriminated against and they participate in school activities, just like any other child.”