Source: GroundUp News (Cape Town)
Time is running out for Ebenezer Odei to get the funding he needs to be able to attend university in 2019. Odei is a matric learner at Grassy Park High School. His parents are Ghanaian and came to South Africa in 1996. They were granted permanent residence in 1997. Odei was born in South Africa in 2000 but does not have permanent residence status because his mother claims they were not properly informed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of the required process.
Odei said he needs to apply for funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) because his family cannot afford to pay for university. However, to be eligible for NSFAS the applicant must have a South African ID. And to apply for an ID as a foreign national you need a permanent residence permit.
According to DHA spokesperson Thabo Mokgola, Odei’s parents were supposed to take Odei’s handwritten birth certificate to the Ghanaian Embassy to get a passport for him. He said the parents then needed to go back to Home Affairs to get Odei placed on the their files so he could be granted the same status as his parents, that of permanent residence. “When he turns 18 years old, he could then apply for South African citizenship,” said Mokgola.