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NGOMANE – Four children of Ngomane area near Simunye are suffering because of their father’s debt.

The children are currently not schooling because they do not have birth certificates and personal identification numbers (PINs), which are key requirements for enrolment under the Free Primary Education (FPE) programme.

The father took a loan from a shylock sometime ago and then gave the micro lender his ID card as a guarantee to repay the loan.
However, he has been struggling to repay the loan and the exorbitant interest thus the ID card remains in the shylock’s possession.
As such, the father is unable to apply for birth certificates at the Immigration department because he does not have documentation (ID) to prove that he is a native LiSwati.


The eldest child is aged nine, while the other children are twins and they are aged eight years.
The youngest is turning four this year.

The eldest child used to attend school at a local primary school but he later dropped out, reportedly because he did not have a PIN, hence he was ineligible to register for FPE.

Local Community Health Motivators (bagcugcuteli) are concerned about the welfare of the children and the unfavourable life they are currently living.
“There is no future without education. If the children do not return to school, their future is ruined,” said the community health motivator.

She mentioned that only the eldest child used to attend school and the other children, who are twins, have never been to school.
She appealed to the department of Social Welfare to intervene and assist the children.
She said the plight of the children had also been reported to the local police station.

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said they were aware of the plight of the children and they were still contemplating on how they could help them.
Meanwhile, the father of the children confirmed that his off-spring were currently not schooling.

He said the children were ineligible to register for FPE because they did not have birth certificates which bore the PINs.
The father said he could not apply for birth certificates for his children because his ID was with a shylock.

“The biggest challenge I have is that the shylock who took my ID has left the area. I don’t know where she is,” stated the father of the children.
However, he said when he got paid on Monday (yesterday), he would try to search for the shylock so that he could settle the remaining balance.
He explained that he took a loan of E2 700 from the shylock so that he could prepare for the burial of his lover, who was the mother of the children. He said he had struggled to repay the loan because he was not a full-time employee with a guaranteed monthly salary.


“I work in the sugar cane fields on a part-time basis. Sometimes I stay home for close to five months without a job. Hence, I can’t adequately provide for my family,” he said.

However, community health motivators are unhappy with the manner the father has handled the matter.
They are of the view that he should have urgently dealt with the matter when the elder child dropped out of school.

“We feel like there is no will to help the children go back to school hence we appeal for the intervention of other stakeholders,” said the health motivator.
The mobile phone of Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku was switched off when called several times yesterday. He was reported to be in Parliament.
The department of Social Welfare falls under Masuku’s portfolio.

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