Matric certificate error

Meshay Lewis, New Tafelsig

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) got my identity number incorrect on my matric certificate.

After I got my results I noticed my identity number was wrong (and) I then told the school principal.

He sent an email to the department to tell them about the error.

After a few weeks I got a new certificate with only my date of birth on it and I was satisfied.

It is seven years later.

I cannot find a job.

I applied for numerous job opportunities and even wrote a test for SAPS.

I applied for an internship.

Until late last year a lady that got me a job at a recruiting agency and she told me that she did not find my details on the system.

That is when I noticed something was not right.

The department never corrected my details on their system and because of that I cannot find a job.

I went to the department to inform them of the matter.

I was told to get a confirmation letter from Home Affairs, but you can only get a confirmation letter if you have two identity documents and/or your surname has changed.

I then went back to the department to tell them what I had been told.

They took all my personal information and the original certificate. I was told the process of this will take more than six-months.

Department staff admitted that it was a departmental error.

My point is the first time they did not fix my details, after seven years I still cannot find a job.

This is going to take more than six-months.

It is already seven years and I have to pay to fix this problem. The amount is more than R140.

I do not work and I have to pay for something that is not my fault.

I was 16-years-old when I got pregnant with my son.

I then knew the importance of education and wanted to finish school for the sake of my son to give him a better life.

The department has robbed me of a good life.

Millicent Merton, Western Cape Education Department communication directorate, responds:

Umalusi issues matric certificates with either the candidates’ identity number or date of birth, as both are accepted.

The issued certificate is authentic and is the original certificate issued to the candidate in 2016 after successfully completing the matric exams in 2015.

The date of birth on the certificate corresponds with the candidate’s ID number.

When verifying the certificate with Umalusi, there should not be a challenge, even if the certificate is issued with the candidate’s date of birth.

In a directive in 2021, Umalusi advised that candidates can request an amendment for the date of birth to be replaced with the official identity number on their matric certificates.

The official reissue process should then be followed.

The process was explained to the client.

The client was requested to amend her affidavit stating that her identity number on the certificate is incorrect as there is no identity number printed on the certificate.

As soon as the affidavit has been amended, the department can submit her request to Umalusi to replace the client’s date of birth with her identity number.

She refused and, unfortunately, the process cannot be followed without the amended affidavit.