Resolution of an Ngo to Open a Bank Account

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					         Enabling documents
       & comprehensive social
         security for children.
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, 4 May 2010

Kevin Roussel, Sanja Bornman and Bukelwa Voko
                         Who we are
• The Alliance for Children’s Entitlement to Social Security (ACESS),
  formed in 2002

• An alliance of more than 1 300 children’s sector organisations drawn
  from all nine provinces in South Africa.

• Secretariat is based in Cape Town, and our member organisations
    –    rural and urban-based,
    –   community-based and
    –   faith-based and
    –   non-government organisations,
    –   social service providers, and
    –   research institutions.

        A diverse range of sub-sectors within the children’s sector including
        health, disability, early childhood, education, child protection, socio-
        economic rights, refugee children, children living on the street, orphans
        and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, food security and gender.
                 Our vision
  ACESS has a vision of a South Africa in which
  government and civil society, caregivers and
  children work together effectively to realise a
  comprehensive social security package which:
• Respects the dignity of all, and
• Delivers on children’s rights to enabling
  documents, social assistance, education and
  development, health care, food and nutrition
  and basic services.
                    Our objectives
To make children’s rights to comprehensive social security a
lived reality through:

•    Advocating and facilitating coordinated models of service delivery
•    Advocating improved policies/laws and service delivery
•    Monitoring and evaluating implementation of laws/policies and service
•    Identifying and pioneering collective responses to emerging challenges
     and opportunities in the area of comprehensive social security
•    Providing specialised policy and advocacy training and supporting our
     member organisations
         How do we do we work?
   The ACESS secretariat is, first and foremost, a co-ordinating
   body. Through member consultation, capacitation and
   mobilisation we:
• Facilitate and pilot models of coordinated service delivery

• Facilitate and implement coordinated advocacy for improved

• Articulate members’ advocacy positions at high government level

• Facilitate advocacy opportunities for ACESS members

• Monitor the implementation of laws, policies and service delivery
  programmes on behalf of the alliance
 Comprehensive social security
• We must all adopt an integrated approach to childhood
• We cannot focus on a single aspect or even various aspects in
  isolation of each other – eg. education…
• We must deliver to pregnant mothers, babies, children and
  their caregivers, an integrated social security package
  comprising social assistance, enabling documents, health,
  nutrition, water and sanitation, early learning and education
  and psychosocial care
Our projects – opening doors for
  We advance our vision through the following

1. Promoting a Comprehensive Social Security
2. Widening the Reach of Social Assistance
3. Challenging Barriers to Social Security
4. Promoting Access to Education and Development
       The ACESS model

GOVT         ACESS
What our model aims to
    The Enabling Documents
  Through member engagement, consultation and research
  into barriers to accessing social security, ACESS identified a
  lack of enabling documents as a fundamental barriers to
  children’s enjoyment of their socio-economic rights.

• Civil society, government officials and community members
  were interviewed
• Collated in a report (included in briefing material)
• Indicated that a key intervention would have to consist of a
  network of supporters, given that a single government
  department or an NGO would not be able to address the
  magnitude of the task
What are Enabling Documents?
Enabling documents are:
   •   Birth certificates
   •   Death certificates
   •   Marriage certificates
   •   Identity documents

   In terms of section 28(1) (a) of the Constitution
   every child has the right to a name and a
   nationality from birth. The birth registration
   process and the issuing of a birth certificate is the
   cornerstone of this right!
Why are enabling documents
    Without enabling documents, poor and vulnerable children and their
    families cannot access the very services designed to be their life lines,
    or engage in economic activities that can potentially end the cycle of

•   Cannot write matric exams
•   Cannot get easy access to school or ECD centres
•   Cannot register the birth of your baby
•   Cannot qualify for free basic services
•   Cannot open a bank account
•   Cannot get a drivers license
•   Cannot benefit from public works programmes

                            Cannot even VOTE…
            Scope of the Problem
• How big is the problem?
   – Disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in rural areas are
     particularly at risk
   – Experience and research has consistently shown that significant
     numbers of poor children and their families, especially those living in
     marginalised rural areas of our poorer provinces, encounter great
     difficulties in obtaining enabling documents from the Department of
     Home Affairs.

• Children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS are particularly at
   – ACESS’s research confirmed that many of the difficulties associated
     with birth registrations and accessing enabling documents are
     aggravated in the context of HIV/AIDS.
                   Primary Causes
There are a number of causes which include:
   – Lack of knowledge, not so much of the availability of the right in
     question, but how to navigate the documentation requirements and
     application procedures

   – A number of factors result in particularly legally complex scenarios for
     the targeted beneficiaries. These include:

       • cultural practices (such as naming rituals which can delay the
         naming of a baby)
       • historical marginalisation within communities resulting in multiple
         generations lacking documentation
       • close proximity to the borders of South Africa, resulting in large
         numbers of migrants and refugees
         Primary Causes cont.
– A lack of consistency in the interpretation and application of the
  procedures and requirements by administrative agencies such as
  SASSA and Home Affairs creates greater levels of opacity as to how to
  navigate these procedures and meet requirements.

– Lack of access to paralegal and legal support in the targeted areas
  with regards to knowing the law, procedures and how to navigate
  them, in especially legally complex scenarios, as well as lack of access
  to support to enforce the relevant socio-economic rights and rights to
  enabling documents.

– Lack of physical access to the sites of service delivery in question.
  There are insufficient sites of service delivery in the targeted areas at
  which beneficiaries can apply for enabling documents and grants.
                 The Pilot Project
  ACESS is currently coordinating an initial intensive
  intervention in KwaZulu Natal, focussing on a targeted
  rural disadvantaged district marked by high numbers of
  children and caregivers not accessing their enabling
• Conducted through a partnership between district, provincial and
  national level government, local paralegal and community service
  providers (affiliated to the ACESS network)

• Designed to address poor access to enabling documents and grants.

• The objective is for the intervention to ultimately be duplicated in the
  other provinces and to be complimented by provincially specific
  communications campaign
    The idea – working together
• There are many other agencies and organizations that want
  to improve access to enabling documents, especially birth
  certificates and identity documents for caregivers
• We have identified who they are and worked together within
  a common framework designed to maximize the potential of
  each network member and the potential of the network as a
  whole to improve access
• During 2009 a Task Team was set up to develop the
  framework, work within it and coordinate the inclusion of
  other role players in our campaign
• Examples of innovation: using existing campaigns, using
  existing systems eg. municipal accounts letters carrying
  messages, and CDWs being brought into the campaign
             Specific interventions
• Building a multi-party community outreach campaign which had seek
  to link people in vulnerable communities and their applications to Home
    – The networked community of partners had also been capacitated to assist with the
      resolution of problems in getting births registered and in obtaining identification
      documents, and in so doing enhance community-level access to justice.
    – The network partners had served as a vital source of information for Home Affairs
      service centres.
    – The partners had tracked problems experienced within vulnerable communities and
      share that regularly with Home Affairs so that there is ongoing responsiveness to the
      problems experienced.

• Established networked sites of support and service delivery in relation
  to enabling documents. This was done through training of partners to
  increase community level knowledge of, and access to, enabling
• Supported by a strong communication strategy within the relevant
  community advising of the importance of birth registration, how to do it
  and the availability of the service /support by the relevant partners.
    The community outreach campaign has been
    complimented by a coordinated advocacy campaign to
    support the Department of Home Affairs in identifying and
    prioritising the roll-out of services to the most vulnerable
    areas and those in need of urgent support
•   Partners are also advocating for the duplication of the coordinated
    model nationally
•   Train-the-Trainer formed part of our broader advocacy campaign and
    to date over 300 participants in the district
•   Community members capacitated with the knowledge around enabling
    documents, the laws and how to access government services.
•   Capacity building will focus on the delivery of information so as to
    increase birth registration and access to birth certificates
                       The message
     The communications leg of the campaign has been both national and
     provincial in scope, targeting Home Affairs clients, campaign partners,
     staff, ACESS members and the communities they serve.
     It addresses 5 key questions relating to birth registration and
1.    Why should I register the birth of my child?
2.    How do I register the birth of my child?
3.    Where can I register the birth of my child?
4.    What can I do if I am not satisfied with the service I receive?
5.    Where do I go and what do I do if I have a problem registering the
      birth of my child?
6.    What is the cost implications of registering my child?
     Delivering the message
  Primary communication mediums
• Community radio
• Newspapers
• Comic strips
• Messaging on popular brand products that are consumed by
  targeted rural vulnerable communities
• Posters at key contact points (including antenatal services,
  maternity wards, health facilities, Home Affairs service
  points, grant application and pay points, schools and ECD
             Progress to date…
• Providing new opportunities in the field of promoting and
  protecting citizenship status.
• Two distinct levels of engagement have emerged.
   1.   On the one level there is a community based task team which
        brings together role players to identify community specific
        problems. This task team also provides recommendations and

   2.   The second is the high level or national task team which looks at
        broader issues around legislation and policy.

• We have hosted 10 enabling documents training
  workshops in total. The number of people trained in the
  first level of training is 310.
                  Progress cont.
• The network of support that has been created is receiving
  increased support from government departments
• The success of the campaign is driven by two motivating
   – On the one hand capacitated network members are able
     to use newly acquired knowledge to make the best use of
     state services.
   – The second motivating factor is the realisation by organs
     of state that civil society is often better placed to connect
     state services to remote and marginalised communities.
   The need for your support
• Our working relationship with the department
  of Home Affairs
• The uMkhanyakude experience
• The need for buy-in, on-going departmental
  support, and resources
• The scale-ability and sustainability of the
Open Floor…

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