COVID-19: Vaccinating stateless people in South Africa

Published: 21/Jan/2022
Source: Africa Renewal (UN)

Having no nationality of any country, this group is often left out of essential services

By: Mkhululi Chimoio

Clad in a torn and tattered orange overall, 25-year-old Brandon Ndlovu cuts a lone figure at Benoni, in Johannesburg, one of South Africa’s busiest shopping centres. He does not feel part of the shoppers on the streets because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mr. Ndlovu is considered ‘stateless’ and hence is often left out of government plans and services. In this case, lack of identification has seen him, and his family miss out on COVID-19 vaccination.

Mr. Ndlovu was born in 1996 in an independent South Africa to both South African parents, also born of South African parents, while in exile in Mozambique during the fight against the apartheid.

On their return to South Africa, none of the family members could get identification papers. Mr. Ndlovu has no kind words for the authorities over the way they handled the identification issue, and now the vaccination drive.

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Themes: ID Documents and Passports, Statelessness
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2022